Dotun Roy

Tongue wagging is inevitable, when you are an extremely outgoing person and then suddenly withdrawn from public glare for a period of time. That is when you decided to keep to yourself and just take sometimes to cool off or just holidaying somewhere sipping Pina Collada, especially when no one has cogent information as to where in particular you are. Next thing, you become the subject of every discussion and all manner of assumptions would be flying from various quarters, anonymous and faceless comments on social media soon follow. These assumptions would overnight turn into some rumours that could wreck havoc or even taint your image. Such case often worse if the target is a celebrity or public figure. His supposed fans and lovers would be first to express their disappointment for his sudden disappearance and incapability to stay relevant. After all these criticisms name calling follows, they call him names his parent never gave him ‘shady jerk, let-down, ‘seasonal celebrity’, ‘forgetten man’amongst other names.

What am I driving at with all these? It is the power of privacy. privacy is an essential part of human lives but we often fail to understand this. Too often, many people erroneously assume the moment you withdrawn from the social scene for sometimes means you have nothing to offer anymore. If you are a singer and you stop waxing album, you have ran out of songs, or if you have been a prolific writer because you took a break, then you’ve gone blank and nothing to write about anymore. How shallow! Truly, it is quite shallow of anyone to reason in such manner. People take a break for thousand and one reasons.

Privacy is one the reasons people abscond from social circle. Privacy should be one of the most valuable part of our lives. Sadly enough, we are all gradually losing it in this era of technological advancement and social media bug. It is so appalling that even when some claim to be having some private time somewhere, they still tweet and facebook about it saying “chilling away” “holidaying in caribbean” “having my special moment” etc that as far as I am concerned that is no privacy. Interestingly, I discovered these people do all these tweets to actually prevent themselves from being victims of attacks and name calling for disappearing from social circle unannounced so as to maintain relevance. Frankly, I would say they have mixed their private lives with their means of livelihood. They should learn to know that they owe no one an explanation for being away. This may sound rude but it is the fact all of us and even public figures must face and learn to divorce their private lives from what they do and also stop sacrificing their privacy to stay relevant. The only people that are excluded in this are political office holders who are accountable and answerable to their electorates.

Note: It is normal for people to assume anything. Backlash and criticisms are part of life. Avoiding being judge would only make you more vulnerable to societal destructive criticisms. So why not become thick skinned and enjoy your privacy with your family or whomever. We need to understand that lack of privacy has a whole of downsides. It impacts negatively on self development and makes one open to calculated invasion from external forces. Privacy should be seen as the only power anyone has over his/her personality.
My advice for those who taint others for being away and not sharing their privacy is, in the course of your assumption be courteous, make sure your comments are not derogatory and damaging because what goes around comes around!

By Dotun Roy is a development driven news website with the overall goal of amplifying, promoting and advocating for positive societal change through Sustainable Development advocacy in line with UN SDGs components such as education, environmental sustainability and Climate Change, Human Rights, health, finance, housing, good governance as well as security in Nigeria and across the world.

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