“I do not accept a world without manners or boundaries. The dimensions of my life and space are up to me.” Jon Katz, In The World of Social Media, Defining The Boundaries of Life.
Author Jon Katz of Bedlam Farm, wrote on his blog how people (wrongly) assume celebrity status means giving them total access to his life. Yet I think the same can be said for those of us who are totally unknown, living silent lives. We are also susceptible to people over-stepping boundaries, intruding on our lives as if we are in front of a reality TV camera, making demands of us, giving unwanted advice.
When someone called me thirty-five times, called the hospital and complained to staff about patient privacy laws, called neighbors, sent emails, arrived on my front doorstep ringing the doorbell numerous times, looking in windows and finally leaving a note on my van, that is beyond destroying a boundary. It’s scary and heart-pounding-ly maddening. As I sat in my house, a prisoner with my barking dogs, I wondered what empowers such rudeness?
It’s sad when someone assumes that one’s life and property should be available to everyone, that laws don’t pertain to them, that doors should be opened, secrets revealed. Is this a product of our lives with computers, the Internet and social media? Do these people feel that not opening up and revealing ourselves means we are holding criminal secrets? I can only stop and wonder what goes through someone’s mind to believe that merely asking a question always deserves an answer, that demands need to always be obeyed.
I struggle to understand the constant barrage from those who won’t accept the word NO, a clear and final boundary, a wall. Must I build a real fence and install a locked gate, indeed making me a prisoner in my own home?
Remember when we were kids and someone would poke us over and over to get a reaction? It worked and usually started a fight because stop and no and leave me alone didn’t work. Perhaps being intrusive as an adult is a form of bullying, a need to be in control of someone else. I don’t know. This subject is a hard reality, difficult for me to rationalize and deal with. This may be why many people use profanity when all else fails to stop rude behavior: first word, four letters, second word, three letters, followed by an exclamation point. It’s a poor way to express the words, no and stop. When all else fails though….
But as Jon Katz, mentioned it’s all about manners. Manners folks, no poking and prodding, phone calls and ringing the doorbell over and over. All of us, celebrities and the silent unknown, each deserve respect. Behave like adults, please. Don’t cross the line.