Handling truth part 2
Truth or pleasant lies? Robert Wright has an opinion piece in today’s New York Times that pertains. His theory is that advances in technology makes it more difficult for philanderers like Tiger Woods & Mark Sanford. A curious spouse can go poking around without too much effort and successfully find incriminating electronic evidence everywhere — as can the press, political opponents, or just plain anonymous busy bodies. (For the record, Wright is not sympathetic to Woods, Sanford, etc.)
Wright argues that being private is a lot more difficult than it used to be. Electronic paper trails are more prevalent, and once our foibles are made know, they can go viral in a flash. What before was secret is now known and what is known is now public. The rules have changed.
Maybe the rules have changed. Snooping around is snooping around, whether high or low tech. Going through coat pockets in search of receipts isn’t all that different than reading someone else’s email. We don’t want to be the last ones to know. I get that. A powerful motivator for getting at the truth is to have some control over the possible fall-out we anticipate when others get wind of our dirty laundry. True confession: I once broadcast an ex’s infidelities far and wide so I could tell the story the way I wanted. It helped mitigate my humiliation.
Yes, it’s unsatisfying and crazy-making to walk around with suspicions – but also crazy-making to have them confirmed. Really, if you’re going to lie, cheat, and steal, the least you can do is not be cavalier or careless – whatever the technology (am I really advocating for lying well? Gee whiz.). Let those whose hearts you may someday smoosh have some choice over how much and when they come to know what they really wish they didn’t. That’s just plain good manners.