“If I can’t have privacy in my own hotel room, then where can I really expect personal space?” Virat Kohli’s post last week after a ‘fan’ broke into his hotel room in Australia and aired his clean laundry was more than a peak at how voyeurism tests the dictionary with a whole new meaning.
Kohli’s outburst went viral – in the contemporary era, it takes a lot less to follow a trend, and pushed the now wonky P-word like a drunk into the public domain.
As boundaries disappear, even in a flaky social media bubble where the only rules are that there are none, it stirs debate – has the fine line changed?
Online causing offline
The crossover – online causing offline, may have made boundaries flexible but there has always been a constant, the permanence of consent and yet a man or, more so, breaks into a room of hotel, unhurriedly films a private break and uploads it as while sharing match highlights.
Two for the price of one, an invasion of privacy and a fortuitous break-in, is the crossroads here? Next time, all roads may lead to a bedroom at home.
At the center of George Orwell’s 1984 dystopian novel is the theme of privacy as illusion, by breaking into a hotel room just for the sake of a video, the viewer’s belief has been channeled, choice compromised . Legendary singer David Bowie went through 18 months of cancer treatment, not once did the news leak.
Are intruders like these emboldened by the self-promotion of some prominent Bollywood stars who have chosen to give up their personal space by warning the paparazzi even when walking their dogs? Has the land been queered beyond redemption?
Click for a world of click bait
The cocktail of the ubiquitous phone, a selfie and a click has thrown all the privacy guidelines into junk. An adult walks into a hospital with as much joy as he would into a resort. In a click for a clickbait world, scan and scam is a twisted mantra with exclusivity that is no longer just a bunch of TV news.
Virat Kohli and his actress wife Anushka Sharma earn crores from their Instagram posts but have zealously guarded their child’s privacy, it’s a tacit but not unreasonable plea and yet a broadcaster recently opted to zoom the camera into their girl during a game.
Children and spotlights is a note that, surprisingly, is not set in stone and, globally, parents share some of the blame.
The term ‘Sharing’ a word unknown until 2012 was coined by writer Steven Leckhart in the Wall Street Journal, he tried to make sense of adults sharing intimate details and photographs of their children, the kind that never left the walls of the four houses when the photo albums were physical.
Each for himself must also give meaning. Influencers are guilty of using their children or others to monetize on social media, as in the case of a family who adopted an autistic child, exploited the posts, then legally ended the adoption . It’s a heady rush when short forms drop like overnight followers on Instagram, but privacy and ethics require long, careful consideration.
Digitally fed generations are busy juggling their own paradoxes and sending mixed signals. Getting caught online, streaming live while shouting in public is private. The rules have been redefined, this is not a gentleman’s game and someone is going to get hurt. Somebody did it.
This when the dice are already loaded. Appthority, a company specializing in identifying risky behavior in mobile apps, flagged 95% of the top 200 free apps for iOS and Android for making privacy a laughing stock by surreptitiously tracking user identity. location and other personal details.
The deal with the digital devil is limitless, hacking – whether big handle Instagram accounts or phones through a surveillance state are all points that come together, the invasion of politics has many sides to the coin, including biometrics as identity. In cyberspace or on terra firma, private access can only be granted by its owner, at the base is how much is too much.
Was the breach of space and Kohli’s hotel room imminent? Privacy rights of public faces are reaching a crescendo, social media portrays them as just around the corner. In this endlessly changing landscape, the most disturbing part is what follows.