Monday, 9 May 2016

There are many things that I would like to say to you but I don't know how

One of things I've been blamed with, recently, is my lack of transparency. The argument stipulates that since figuring out the things I say here are open for the whole world to read, I stopped discussing the things that would allow my friends [in particular] to know what's going on with my life.
There is much truth in that. I will also add that, on my side, there are a load of things I would like to tell the world about but wouldn't (and not necessarily because lately I don't have time for anything anymore).
At the core, things come down to this. Contrary to popular opinion, I actually do share a lot of private stuff online, and way more than your average person does on Facebook. It's just that, over time, I have learnt restraint. For example:
  • I try to avoid security compromises,
  • I try to avoid infringing the privacy of others (as opposed to mine),
  • I try to avoid inflicting damage on the future prospects of my professional career, and
  • Sometimes I even try to avoid hurting others' feelings.
On my side, the "problem" is really how to share the things that invalidate the above rules without the potential damage that can come as a result. Most of the time, that comes to how I can best ensure that only the people I want to discuss these matters with hear what I have to say. Since Google changing its privacy policy back in 2012 I became aware of commercial espionage on everything I do online; since Snowden came out in 2013 I became aware of governments sticking their noses into everything online as well as the not so online (e.g., phone calls, SMS).
Encryption comes to my rescue, but it can only go so far. There is that much praise that I can bestow upon the Signal application, but at the end of the day it is just an instant messaging app and not a nice medium with which to convey complicated messages; as unpopular as it is to state, there are many occasions when an email will outdo an instant message.
I dipped my toes into the realm of PGP, but frankly it is a pain and it is even worse when trying to inflict this pain on friends. Nowadays there are friendly alternatives, like Proton Mail or Tutanota, but the feedback I've been getting so far is that none of my friends can be bothered to open an account with those. Personally, I cannot see what's so hard about doing exactly that: with the aid of a password manager, we're talking about two minutes worth of an effort to set things up. But hey, that is a perfectly legitimate lifestyle choice on behalf of my friends, and who am I to wonder why.
Don't get me wrong, I truly mean no disrespect here. I'm the one who always complains there's not enough time in my life to do the things I really want to do, so who am I to tell the people I consider friends that they should stop what they're doing and do what I'm asking them to do instead? I hope I'm not that narcissistic asshole yet.
I am also the first to admit that whatever it is I feel the occasional urge to say is, in the grand scheme of this universe, trivial bullshit. Indeed, In some twisted way, that reluctance to cooperate with me actually solves my problems: Not only does it save my time, but rather, given no one seems interested in what I have to say, perhaps it is best for me to learn how to talk less.

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