Thursday, August 6th, 2020

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Always on Stage


We are all beginning to have an inkling of how celebrities feel when they are hounded by paparazzi. Everywhere we go and everything we write is becoming available to the public. Perhaps the good news is that not everyone cares to know everything about everyone. But some do and, more importantly, almost everyone can.

I once thought that as long as we have nothing to hide, it doesn't matter. But now I think it does matter.

We do have self will. We can choose to be good or bad or any level in between. And there is value in choosing good just because it is the right thing rather than because it will be known by all.

Today we are always on stage, whether we are conscious of it or not. There are little cameras filming while we are driving through intersections or getting money at an ATM; Facebook messages to a friend next door can end up in Moyock or in Shanghai; photos of us at a party can be posted whether they flatter or frighten.

Will all of this continue or will it change, as so many things do?

Throughout my life I have witnessed pendulums swing - government focused on centralizing/decentralizing; coffee cited as good for us then bad for us; hem lengths set at ankles or thighs - everything changing periodically whether significant or small. 

I once thought that as long as
we have nothing to hide, it doesn't matter.
But now I think it does matter.

But some things stay. For instance, even if we all stopped making comments and posting photos on Facebook today, there they remain.

I am a believer that some things should remain private, just as I am convinced many of our problems stem from keeping secrets that should be known. And I wonder how children will learn to distinguish between them if everything is out there instantly.

While social media has many benefits, especially for those who cannot get out easily, I believe personal social interaction is more important than ever. And while I love big gatherings, I also believe one-on-one conversation, even philosophizing, is vital.

One on one is still a most gratifying personal means of communicating, as are small group discussions, in person and focused. Cameras, phones and computers off.

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.