All things EHS all the time


All things EHS all the time


All things EHS all the time


Opinion: Politically Correct?: Self-proclaimed snooper

Opinion: Politically Correct?: Self-proclaimed snooper

Saturday night I had an epiphany while attending a small comedy show. I caught myself in an act that was not reversible.

We squished together on a couple of small tiers of staggered folding chairs. I glanced around the room waiting for the show to start.

I listened to a pretentious couple behind me talk critiquing the dull lighting of the party they attended and another couple nuzzled together in front of me whispered quietly about something serious, their faces stern.

I realize I am the ultimate eavesdropper.

My objective is amusement. I don’t repeat what I overhear. Usually, when I catch snippets of interesting conversations, I laugh.

I often think that when I’m having a serious conversation in public there’s someone in the room tuning in. I have a feeling I am not the only one who snoops on a stranger’s tete-a-tete.

But sitting there at the comedy club, I was entirely too interested in the activities of a woman sitting in front of me typing away at her phone with her head hung low over the illuminated screen. What could be so urgent, 10:30 p.m., at a comedy club?

But even though I have embraced my superpower of listening in, I found myself going too far that Saturday.

I put on my supersonic vision and zoomed in on her phone. I concluded that she was writing a blog post on her soda ingestion and about how she wanted to eat and drink healthier…strange but nothing I needed to know.

After I read as much as I could, I found myself feeling like I violated this random comedy-goers privacy.

The weird thing is that I never feel like I’m intruding on anyone’s privacy when I’m eavesdropping on a conversation, so why should I feel different when reading over someone’s shoulder?

But our phones are our intimates. They keep our most private appointments and conversations, photos of our loved ones, all the locations I’ve travelled. And while I can traverse the Internet to my hearts content on my phone, it is my phone and my journey.

I tried to justify my snooping as acceptable since her post was a blog and not a private conversation. The unfortunate reality of the situation is I could have been reading a private conversation. I just happened to read a blog posting.

She didn’t turn to me and announce the posting or text me her thoughts. Sharing the information with me was not her decision. And reading her phone screen should not have been mine.

I’ve noticed a couple times while in public someone reading over my shoulder when I’m texting. I turned off my phone and thought to myself, “Thank God that wasn’t anything personal.”

Although I won’t abandon my superpower, I never know when when someone like me is around when I’m using my phone.

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