We were hiking today with some friends. At a certain point, to our deep disappointment, we reached a Private Property sign. We simply wanted to take a shortcut, but our map didn't show that it was actually no public road or path there.
But the map showed that just a few hundred meters behind that private property was a dirt road we could use to save us roughly 40 minutes of walking. So we went there: no sign, no gate. "Public road it is!" so we thought. After a while we encountered a group of people who seemed pretty surprised by our presence there. One of the people said: "Hey, you know this is private property?". We replied "Oops, we didn't". Thankfully they did let us go through what was essentially their backyard.
This encounter got me thinking; have we gotten bad at signifying private things? In a personal aspect, of course.
These days it's pretty easy to learn things about another person. There's social media, public bios and websites, forum sites and more. All we need is a name, or, in some cases, a face. Through that single bit of information we can gather tens and hundreds of bits more. Many irrelevant in our relationship with that person. They just exist.
I tend to be pretty cautious with the things I share publicly. Other than this blog and my personal website, you won't find a place that talks a lot about who I am. There isn't a single picture of my face online - for a reason. I the feeling that only the people that I am sure know something about me actually know something about me.
Put up a sign. Defend your own private self. Because, when it's gone, there won't be much left.