In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate the many ways in which privacy is sexy. Just like Justin Timberlake once encouraged us to "bring sexy back," how can we "bring privacy back" into our daily lives? Think privacy isn’t sexy? Which would you rather: Leave a little to the imagination, or put it all out there? What’s sexy and what we consider to be private have evolved with society. Showing a bare ankle in Jane Austin’s day was enough to send readers swooning, but as we all know…times have changed. With them has the degree to which we’ve surrendered aspects of our privacy to corporations, media companies, marketers and even the government.
We hear so much negative news these days about the lack of privacy, but the increasing awareness of privacy issues can also be seen as a positive. Privacy was chosen of the Word of the Year for 2013 by Dictionary.com, and for good reason! Enthusiasm for privacy is growing, people are talking about privacy and it’s a trending topic in the media. Privacy is sexy – and it’s up to each of us to spread the word. So why is privacy sexy? Let’s get under the covers:
1. Privacy protects intimacy. Our bodies, health, innermost thoughts, ability to express our identity…all remain best protected by our individual choices about privacy. We form close, personal bonds by making a conscious choice about what personal information we share with others. Levels of intimacy depend upon levels of privacy. Some things are shared with friends and work colleagues, some things are shared with romantic partners. Do we really want to subject our privacy to a permanent third party in the room?
2. Privacy builds confidence, and confidence is sexy. If we trust those with whom we share our information, we can feel comfortable with our public and private persona. Putting our own privacy practice into play allows us to share when and how we are inclined to do so – without feeling pressured. From this place of authenticity we can act confidently in the world knowing that sometimes we haven’t chosen to share – and that’s OK.
3. Privacy enables personal discovery. Isn’t a little mystery, subtlety and secrecy part of what constitutes sexiness? Nothing is as attractive as getting to know someone personally – face to face or voice to voice. Lurking through someone’s online data is not the same as discovering who they truly are. Personal connections formed over time where we allow each other to have sufficient space and privacy have more depth, are more long-lasting and can be much more sexy.
Align your values with your personal privacy practice. Let others know how and what you’re willing to share. This Valentine’s Day be empowered to express all the ways in which privacy is sexy.