the ”private” in life

Christmas time is time to wait. Historian Wolfgang Schivelbush shows in a study of rail travel history how train travel meant that passengers were forced to share cramped spaces with strangers for long periods of time. Here the newspaper came to serve as an excellent means to create ”semi-private” rooms in public. The same applies to the mobile phone, mp3 and the computer in today’s society. But there is a semi-privacy which has a double meaning. Either one seeks to define oneself and create personalized free zones, often with the help of music, radio, or a game. Or, one might share one’s private life openly in a completely transparent way. But going from reading over someone’s shoulder in the newspaper to listening to the most private conversation is a big difference. The ”private” in life is no longer as private.

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