Privacy

Sometimes It’s Best to Ignore People

When you know that you’re not going to be able to give a nice response back to something someone has said, then it may be best to ignore him or her.  People can really work your nerves sometimes, so just try to ignore many of the things people do intentionally and unintentionally to get on your nerves.  Sometimes people will get out of their place and try to get all in your business.  Now, one has the option to respond to nosy individuals in harsh ways or one can elect to say nothing to them at all.  There comes a time when you will not be able to hold back from going off on nosy people, and they need going off on many times, but you will find that you will affect those nosy people in greater ways by ignoring them.  How so?  Nosy people don’t like to be ignored.  They become frustrated, angry, restless, and etc.—things that simply going off on them will not necessarily be able to produce.  You’ll be the one who wins when you engender these emotions from nosy people.

Respect people’s privacy!  If people don’t have a desire to share something with you, then you shouldn’t be looking for them to share that something with you.  You certainly shouldn’t be feeling like they owe it to you to share their personal business with you.  Now, when a person usually shares almost everything with you and responds to almost everything you say, then it can be a little surprising to experience him or her not willing to divulge information to you.  However, when there are those certain moments when a tremendously open and transparent person doesn’t want to reveal things to others, then he or she shouldn’t be criticized for not being forthcoming.  Everything is not for you to know and everything is not for everyone to reveal, especially not publicly.  People can be so selfish and think that you should just promulgate all of your business to them for it to circulate in the public domain.

For you nosy people, have you ever considered that people might not want to unveil certain information to you because it could be a matter of safety?

What drives people to want to know everything about everybody’s personal business?

If nosy people would invest more time concentrating on their own business, then they might be much better people and they might make greater progress on pursuing their own goals.  Often if nosy people would just wait a little longer, people will disclose the information that they want to know.  What’s more interesting to learn, however, is what does learning the personal business of others do for nosy people?  Nosy people should go out and make their own news, live out their own dreams, and pursue their own interests and stop devoting their time to worrying about learning about what’s going on with other people’s private business.

When you don’t want to share private information or any other information with others, then don’t feel compelled to offer it.  Some moments and information must remain private—no matter how open and transparent a person you are.  Yes, you can be open and transparent but don’t be a fool!

People reveal personal information to you when they feel comfortable divulging that information.  Therefore, you may learn a significant amount about people’s comfort level with you when they are unwilling to disclose personal information to you.

Start pressing the “ignore button” more on your phone and metaphorically in your interactions off of the phone with nosy people.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Exploring Secret Relationships

Let me begin this article by saying that I’m an open book—always have been and always will be. There’s absolutely nothing I avoid discussions about. Most people are not able to say they are an open book. You may say, “You’re right and I don’t want to be one either.” I’m just making this point up front, however. I think that it may be my unfiltered candor that may be my greatest strength and greatest flaw in this article. People’s strengths and flaws allow us to learn so much from them.

In only the most extreme cases can I see the necessity of maintaining a secret relationship. By secret relationship, I mean hiding a relationship you are in that you are building something meaningful in and/or desire to continue to build something meaningful in the relationship. Moreover, by secret relationship, I mean those relationships where a person refers to another person in intentionally ambiguous terms to keep the person’s identity veiled, but still keeps alluding to that person with such fondness. To go even further, by secret relationship, I mean any relationship where one is not publically transparent about the individual he or she is in a relationship with. Sometimes these secret relationships are nothing more than “invisible relationships,” that is, non-existent relationships.

Many people who maintain secret relationships will publically share with us a significant amount of personal information, but will not share with us at least the simple identity of the person who they are in a relationship with. Therefore, for these people to try to claim that the reason why they are not public about the relationship they are in is due to a desire to protect the privacy of the relationship, I would have to contend that their position is quite contradictory.

It seems to me if you have a strong fondness for a person and/or want to develop something even more substantive with a person, you would naturally divulge the identity of the person you are in a relationship with. If the person is making you feel this good, then why is his or her name left undisclosed? I’m not saying that a relationship is not valid that is not publically promulgated, but what I’m saying (or at least trying to understand) is why is there a need to keep the name of the person you are in a relationship undisclosed when you are so public when it comes to alluding to this person?

What are you hiding?

Although I recognize some of the strengths of a relationship that is kept tremendously private without people ever knowing the folk are in a relationship, I would like to express that there are some weaknesses to these secret relationships. When you don’t identify the person you are in a relationship with, even before you consider yourself in a relationship with the person, you run the risk of not learning things about the person you need to know that he or she will not tell you.

Personally, I know people who are in secret relationships and it’s resulting in them not learning things about the people they are in a relationship with that would cause them to no longer desire to be in a relationship with those people. Sometimes your secret relationships are not so secretive. However, because people will respect your desire to keep your relationship a “secret,” they will pretend that they don’t know you who you are in a relationship with. By pretending like they don’t know who you are in a relationship with, they feel like they have to withhold vital information from you. One guy I know who’s in a secret relationship is involved with a girl who tried to holla’ at his very close friend and has had sex with another one of his good friends and still is having sex with her because the good friend does not know a relationship exists. From my experience and vantage point, being secretive and silent does not prove beneficial inevitably.

By having a secret relationship, you prevent yourself from receiving some much needed relationship advice. You won’t receive any relationship advice because no one knows about your relationship or does not know who you are in a relationship with.

Furthermore, being in a secret relationship can be tremendously dangerous. If people don’t know you are in a relationship with a person, then they never know about you possibly being in danger by this person. They don’t know what the person looks like, and don’t know that you may be spending time with this person in a private place that’s totally isolated from everyone who knows you. This is a perfect storm for disaster to evolve.

What are reasons why secret relationships continue to persist? What do you consider to be extreme cases in our contemporary period where secret relationships are necessary? Do you think that it’s necessary for a person to reveal who he or she is in a relationship with?

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

People Will Use Facebook to Misrepresent You

Although I have never been to jail, don’t have a criminal record, and never have been recommended for psychological evaluation, people have tried to suggest that I might do something violent to people, even murder people, because of my Facebook statuses. Most of these people who have done this are individuals who I was nice enough to accept their friend requests on Facebook, but are people who don’t know me particularly well. They are messy people who just want to be able to be meddlesome on my Facebook page to go back and tell others who don’t like me what I have said on Facebook, and attempt to discredit me as some radical who has the potential to do something violent. I accept everyone’s request for friendship on Facebook because I use it as a platform to promote and promulgate my positions and messages. Instead of asking me for clarification about why I posted what I did or what I meant by what I said on Facebook, people will just go with their own interpretations about what I have said. People have been too big of cowards to tell me what they have had to say about me in my face, and they are too big of cowards to ask what I was saying on certain statuses when they have questions. They would rather go ask someone else or just go talk about me with other people to try to turn them against me.

What I would like to tell my readers about my experience with Facebook thus far is you all have to be careful about how people may try to use what you have said on Facebook against you. I know that many of you are not as willing as I am to vigorously challenge misrepresentations involving you. I would, therefore, just like for you to be careful about who you befriend on Facebook. Make sure that you can trust the people who you are friends with on Facebook. Additionally, I recommend that you adjust your privacy settings to not allow everyone to see your photos and statuses. Facebook’s privacy settings even allow you to pick and choose the people who you want to allow to see your Wall, photos, and statuses.

I have professors, employers, students, colleagues, fellow church members, and etc. as Facebook friends, because I’m the same everywhere I go—you will always get the same Antonio Maurice Daniels. While most people are on Facebook for valid purposes, I want you to be careful about those who would try to do you harm. Some people will copy and paste stuff and try to use it against you—be watchful of this. Some people will try to use your photos to misrepresent you and defame your character. For security purposes, make sure that you always take a moment and change your Facebook password often, so that you can better ensure that no unauthorized persons are using your account.

When people are already looking to make you out to be something that you are not, or if they are striving to make you appear to be a radical or monster, they can use the simplest thing you have posted on Facebook to do so. They will not worry about taking your postings out of context—they will use the postings without any hesitation to promote their personal agendas. I know you a probably thinking that people are really not this immature, but I hope that you are not that naïve to continue to maintain that viewpoint.

I love Facebook and appreciate the wonderful people I have been able to communicate with and reconnect with through this great medium. I just thought it was important for me to make you are aware that there are people who will use Facebook as a way to misrepresent who you truly are and what you are truly saying and doing on it. It is my hope that you will think about what I have said and consider some of the things that I have said next time you are on Facebook.

To those of you who are my Facebook friends and have tried to misrepresent me through things I have posted, I want you to know that I already know what you have attempted to do, so you have not gotten anything past me. I know about why you have befriended me on Facebook in the first place. I would encourage you to devote your time to doing something else because misrepresentations have never had any true success against me, if you don’t already know by now.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison