Privacy? Now you're worried?

We had this big book growing up. They called it a phone book. You could look up someone's name, and find out not only what their phone number was, but get this...where they lived. And there was handy map too, so you could go to their house and ring the bell if you wanted.

Why bring up such archaic items? Because so many people are jabbering on now about privacy. Particularly when it comes to social networks and the internet. Seriously, you click on a person's facebook page, and if you aren't their friend, you can't see their personal info. Like...their phone number. Or address. Oooh.

Ok, true, some people are unlisted. Unless of course they own a home. Then, you simply go online and in three clicks, look up the deed. Public information. Go figure.  Some of our government websites are so damn easy to search. You can look up any name, and find out not only their address, but how much they paid for the house, how big it is, when they bought it. Or, you can look up an address and find out who lives there. And whether they are a Donkey or and Elephant....even how much they donated to the last big campaign.

Creepy isn't it? But that's just it. What are we all trying to protect so furiously? Stuff that anyone can learn in about 5 minutes. Our kids information? Now that is sacred. And anyone under the age of 18 should have their parents on their page. Not to snoop, but to protect. Because in the end, it's our job to do that. You hold their hand when they cross the street, and you should hold their hand when they cross into cyberspace.

There is some information we should always keep private, absolutely. Like your Social Security number (unless of course you need credit.) But for most adults, the information we have on facebook is no more than what we share in our everyday lives. Walgreens knows more about me and my medical history than I do. Overstock knows what color my sheets are. Barnes & Noble knows my favorite author. And all of these fine merchants know where I bank, and how much I spend on everything from pills to pillows.

So just what is so sacred about this information that we cry foul when the big computer in the clouds starts compiling this info and using it to try and sell us stuff? Nothing, really. If we want to truly remain private, we'll have to pay cash for everything, stay healthy, and not use the internet. Especially email.

Of course the minute you put a letter in the mailbox, well, all bets are off.

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