This week past week was Valentine's Day, or for me and many others, Singles' Awareness Day. Walking into work I was confronted by non other than Ernest, the friendly dish man, who told me of his dedication and acts of kindness towards his wife of 28 years. He then brought up a question that is strikingly relevant in today's society of constant media bombardment and communication; he asked, "have you ever made love to a secret?"
It is certainly not a secret that the world today is far different from the simpler days before Facebook and other social media sites. Texting only became popular in the late 1990's and early 2000's and within just 17 years cellphones have become priceless personal assistants, kept at an arm's length ready for any and all incoming information. It's hard to imagine a time before these precious gadgets kept you and all your friends, all your acquaintances, in contact. Social media has truly taken off and now Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and many other sites work hard to keep you informed on who's dating who, who voted for what, who dislikes who and every other piece of knowledge you could want to know about a person! Obviously it is a delight to be able to keep in contact with others, but this constant sharing comes at a high cost; where does connectedness end and our personal privacy begin?
The word secret comes with a heavy load of connotations, it sparks interest and curiosity, it can cause resentment and suspicion towards those who keep them hidden. I would like to speak in defense of secrets. Webster defines Secrets: marked by the habit of discretion. Personally, I love my secrets. Secrets are not bad things, but things so special that not everyone has to know of them. Sometimes secrets are just mundane tasks that everyone does but no one speaks of publically, taboos or daily tasks. Secrets are important to personal identity and, in my opinion, important in keeping relationships significant and special. If you are working on something alone you might find that NOT telling people sparks a new passion for your work. In the same way, no one really needs to know what you and your significant other do together, even if its just hanging around watching Netflix. Sometimes keeping these little times together away from social media and the view of others creates beautiful excursions.
So I would like to propose a state of balance, keeping connected with others is important and part of natural human behavior, but perhaps experiment with lessening the amount you share. Next time you are doing something new or going out somewhere special, exercise restraint in broadcasting to the world. Maybe you'll find that special spark of having your own little secret, something special, intimate and unique, a quiet getaway from the exhausting hum of media and incoming news.
Have you ever made love to a secret? Every time I allow myself to keep one.