Let's be honest here, right at the start, I'm not a very private person. It comes naturally to me to answer personal questions honestly, and to offer information that wasn't even asked for.
Once upon a time they used to talk about people as being extrovert or introvert, and it was unanimously agreed that I was an extrovert. It's a personality type, born in. I remember entertaining my mother's friends by dressing up, singing, whatever it took. Two of my kids more so than the others, inherited this trait. Give James or Michael the spotlight and they shine. Michael is currently rehearsing for a lead role in a school musical. And now the grandchildren are "performing" for adults. Here's the "Big Shoe Show" I swiped off my daughter's friend's Facebook page.....
I just wanted to emphasize the point that it's in our DNA - we can't help it. We can't be quiet and behave ourselves, any more than shy people can force themselves to enjoy public speaking. It's just the way you are made.
I can get quite rowdy given the least encouragement. Or sometimes none. Get me on a favourite topic and I go into "stand-up" mode. Not specifically funny, although not strictly serious, unless that's required, I will launch into an animated monologue, I will "perform" spontaneously. I blog as I talk, so you'd get this sort of thing, but live, and with full body motion. Some of you, of course, have seen this.
Some people may call this showing off, but I don't. I think of showing off as a much more specific thing. That's not important.
I decided some time ago that I'm not an extrovert. I discovered the definition "ambivert" which is a person who is comfortable being that outgoing, but who doesn't need it all the time, who is also comfortable alone, doing things usually associated with introverts, and who in fact needs some quiet reflective time. The ambivert is really quite common, when you think about it. Any decent lecturer, for example, is both a showman and a studious person, by definition.
The ambivert could be seen as a compromise position, a blend, a balanced person. Oh, I like the sound of that.
But there's also an element of conflict there, isn't there.
Because sometimes you want to be loud, when you know you should be quiet, and sometimes you vant to be alone, when "they" want you to perform.
For me, the hardest thing of all is knowing when to shut up. I do know, really, when I've said enough (either in speech or in writing). The reason I blog is that there are no limits. There's nobody timing me, nobody telling me to keep it to 250 words (WHAT?!?) and because it's written, there's nobody looking eager to butt in.
One of the reasons I justify waffling on so much, especially in blogs etc, is that people tell me they like hearing/reading that they aren't the only ones experiencing something. We do like that don't we? When we share ideas, it feels so good to know it's a common idea/experience, be it good or bad. In a way, sharing THIS, and the fact that I feel conflict over it is that sort of thing.
There is great value in honesty then, on many levels.
So, in this brave new world where anyone can talk about themselves as much as they like, fully publicly, and some are more boring than others, some give TMI, and some are just grumpy people off-loading an endless stream of whine, there bloody well should be a conflict. There needs to be an inner awareness of "enough".
That, for me, is the issue of privacy. For other people, who are naturally very private, it is a different issue. MY issue with internet privacy, for example, is that I want to keep my passwords to myself, thank you very much, especially the ones to bank accounts! Other stuff, well, yes, I like having control over my privacy, who doesn't, but I don't exactly hold back, so I obviously don't care too much. Most of my efforts to be discreet online are for the sake of the people I talk about, in fact. When I refer to family members or friends, by name, I have to think carefully about how they would feel about that.
People say they don't want everyone knowing their business, and I get that, but I also don't really have any business nobody should know, so I've been pretty cavalier about what I write about myself. Now they tell me it's all being stored on databases and will be used by third parties. For what? Google, who probably know more about me than the government, are still getting it spectacularly wrong. The last time I took off my adblockers out of curiosity, I found they still think I'm a young American man despite the fact they have my home phone number, because they call me constantly. Various departments within their octopus corporation obviously cannot get it all together. Perhaps we should be grateful for that inefficiency.