As I was waiting in line at the chemist yesterday, I bore witness to a pharmacy assistant and customer discussing the latter’s new medication at what had to be the upper limit of their respective volume ranges. Not only was I–and everyone within twenty feet–aware of the name of said medication, I also knew which doctor prescribed it, what it was used to treat, and how often she needed to take it. For the amount of attention she drew to herself, she may as well have been wearing a fluorescent coral blouse embroidered with details about her current medical ailments and their treatment plans.
This unabashed public distribution of private information has become all too common: the guy at the cafe discussing his erectile dysfunction; the woman screaming into her mobile phone on the bus, oblivious that her lack of an inside voice means everyone on the 375 is now painfully aware she’s got $2.67 to her name. Are we all so desensitised that we’ve lost all sense of what should remain private and what should be shared with the world at the top of our voices?