I wrote a wordy post on Facebook yesterday about how I feel about this whole Ashl3y M@dison client/customer leak. (I’m not using the exact name because GOD FORBID I end up on a google search page for the list.) And the more I think about it, the more I feel I didn’t use all the words I wanted to use and this…my friends…is why I have a blog.
I know there are people out there who – for entertainment value – just sat scrolling through lists (especially when they started getting posted for individual states) to see if they knew anyone on them. Or specifically searching for people they knew. And as a very light-hearted, not-well-thought-out task, I guess part of me can see how you mind end up doing it. It’s a wreck-on-the-highway response. If you stopped and thought “Do I really want to see a dead body?” you probably wouldn’t look, but your instinct is to look before you think it through.
But I’ve seen all sides of infidelity intimately and it is an ugly, ugly thing that has many facets and complications and causes pain in wide ripples from the centerpoint. There is no part of me that wants to know if my neighbor or my doctor or my mayor was on that list. And even if that person was on that list, does that mean they cheated? And if they did does that mean I’m better than them somehow because I’ve been faithful to my husband?
No. No. and HELL FREAKIN’ NO.
It’s funny, this frenzy of search and commenting has been bugging me since the list was leaked and I started hearing whispers of people finding names they didn’t expect on it. OR WORSE: I heard comments like, “Well, I knew I’d find THAT person on it.” And to me? That comment? Is one that really bothers me. Because that means this person’s marriage has been discussed before in your world. And you have no problem being publicly candid about your opinions about that marriage. We all know marriages in jeopardy, but to reference that in a public manner just seems to be dumping unnecessary negative energy into the universe.
This has been eating at my brain for days and then – funnily – several of my Christian friends posted on Facebook about how they’re unhappy seeing delight or judgement in people reading these lists. Lots of reminders of people not to cast stones if they’re not without sin and I stood up and screamed a loud, “AMEN!”
I was liking posts about judgement and forgiveness from my Christian friends all over Facebook yesterday. YES. Let’s not judge! YES. Let’s not forget about the power of forgiveness and YES. Let’s MIND OUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS.
Okay, maybe none of them said exactly that, but there were mentions of things being worthy of God’s attention, but not ours. So why don’t we make sure our own hands are clean before we talk about how dirty someone’s else’s are.
I just don’t see the fascination. Maybe it’s because I have seen the pain infidelity cause up close. (In a past life, many moons ago.) Maybe it’s because I can’t find anything about that funny or entertaining. Maybe because I don’t want to know if my neighbor signed up for that website because I like having relationships with people and not aware of their dirty laundry. Maybe because I’m hiding a whole crap load of dirty laundry and I don’t want people thinking about that every time they talk to me.
I have given up on all expectation of privacy in today’s age. Not that I don’t think I deserve it, I do, but I’ve given up on thinking it can be a reality. I just don’t anymore. The most I can do is to give other people their privacy but not scrolling through lists of hacked data. I’m hearing a lot of “well, they shouldn’t have signed up if they didn’t want people to know,” and that’s unfair. Have you ever bought p0rn? (Another google term I don’t want linked to my blog. It’s already blocked by some military contractors, I’d rather it not be blocked in general.) Maybe sex t0ys? Do you need a prescription for an STD? Not that any of these things should cause you shame, but they are private things you might not want the whole world to know. Somewhere, someone has information stored on you in digital form on you and your habits and it’s not necessarily anything bad, but it’s stuff you’d like to remain PRIVATE. What if that list got hacked? Would you then regret scrolling through the hacked Ashl3y M@dison list?
I don’t worry about humanity after terrorist attacks because there are a LOT of humans on this planet who would never do anything that terrible. I do, however, worry about humanity when I see so many average people jokingly searching through lists for people they know, and then casting judgements on the masses of people on that list. I’m hoping they didn’t think about how terrible it would be to actually SEE a dead body when they’re rubbernecking on the highway. What if you find your Dad on that list? Or your boss? Or your preacher? Then will you find it funny? Once you see a dead body, you can’t unsee it. So why don’t we all just keep our eyes on the road and send positive energy in the form of thoughts and prayers out into the universe and hope that the family and friends of the people involved in that wreck, find the peace they need.