D For Discretion

  "I'm a high school lover, and you're my favorite flavor. Love is all, all my soul, you're my playground love."—Air, Playground Love     

"I'm a high school lover, and you're my favorite flavor. Love is all, all my soul, you're my playground love."—Air, Playground Love  

Discretion. What do we know about it really? In the world where Social Networks run the ball and Instagram is being updated 24/7 by the exhibitionists who want strangers to know everything about their lives, what do we know about that word, discretion?

Nothing, really.

But how important it is to keep our identities safe as we tweet our secrets away for the whole world to see, or share our intimate pictures on Facebook, hoping that our parents never get a glimpse. No, we're not terribly discreet unless we think we'll get away with it.

So what is it that prompts someone to make a public confession, to share one's angst and fear and deepest pain with virtual strangers? I've lost count of how many times I witnessed people pour their hearts out on a Facebook wall, sharing things better kept for friends and priests and vodka gimlets. You know them, breakups, makeups, tragic hamster deaths and broken engagements—the kind of things that make good reality TV but bad first impressions.

Still, while some of us make one outrageous confession after another, others choose to stay anonymous. Like, sex worker anonymous (which doesn't necessarily apply to sex workers exclusively, but even I peeked into the Secret Diary of a Call Girl just to see what all the fuss was about). Anonymity gives you a mask, a new face and a secret identity that enfolds your speech in a husky whisper. The kind of mask you can wear in your birthday suit without worrying about the proverbial slap on the hand. Anonymity means freedom for those of us who have something to lose.

And even though I am one of those people, I came to believe that there's a certain power in owning your voice, in publicly embracing your one true self. Of course, you'd have to be careful of what you say. You'd have to consider the consequences, the people in your life who will know things about you they were never meant to know. That's the price to pay for indiscretion. But there's also that small spark of defiance, of not being afraid to strike a cord or be considered outrageous and bold. No matter how much we're afraid to be judged, deep down we relish in that feeling of defiance. 

So, if you hear something from me—a story that might be just a little too personal to share—I might refuse to give you all the names or admit to being the protagonist of some hilariously embarrassing events. But I will tell it anyway, and it wouldn't be a lie. Because, sometimes, we all could use a little indiscretion.


Indiscreetly yours,

A.