Public Displays of Idiocy & Other Things Best Left Hidden

Back in the day, in ages dark and private,
Before virtual beacons were aimed and shone bright,
Flooding secret corners of the heart and hearth with light,
Foibles and failings and sad little character flaws
Remained mostly concealed, left at home with the family,
Stuffed in the back of the closet with the old plaid bathrobe.

Presentable illusions sewn of whole cloth were well-kept
And stored right up front and center, and donned like
Sunday-go-to-meeting dress-up clothes, and casual
Acquaintances, passersby, and close friends alike, most
Likely thought “what a fine young man, well-spoken,”
or maybe “a real lady, she is, brought up right,” as it were.

But time passed, as time will, and a new age began:
A computer in every office, rabbits in disguise,
Breeding, offspring popping out up willy-nilly.
One in every home, one in every room, and soon
Enough, one in every pocket of even ten-year-olds.
And Al Gore invented the Internet.

Cyberspace colonized and lo, a new frontier of
No bricks and mortar, but Windows, lots of windows.
One on every desk, all made of one-way glass, right?  
You could look out, and so you did, closet voyeurs that you are,
Safe in the knowledge that no one could see you.  
Except, wait! No one can see you…

“No problem, grasshopper. We are the new Einsteins,
Or at least the new Edisons. We’ll get on it.”
The whiz kids went to work and they invented
(Virtual) lightbulbs to light up your life: your office,
Your bedroom, and oh, yeah, your closet, where (uh-oh)
All the foibles, failings, and sad little character flaws live.

“Let there be Facebook,” Zuckerberg et al declared.
And so it was. “Give us your status and your pictures,”
They pleaded. “Give us your life. Here, have some Skype.”
And you came forth in the millions. Well, guess what?
The one-way glass doesn’t matter anymore, because
The window is wide open, and everyone can see in.

And there you are, in all your exposed glory.


Link at dVerse Open Link Night


  1. i am rather glad i got over facebook...have not had one now in nearly a year and a half...far too many people wanting to look under my dress...oh wait, you cant see that can you...the dress...smiles.

    goes with my rave card...

  2. Sad but true--it's like one of those glass ant farms---the ants seem able to ignore the staring, but it can't be comfortable living between two sheets of glass. Nicely done.

  3. This is all SO true, my dear smart, interesting fun lady writer.

    It's all out there.

    We're all out there.

    Amazing when you think of it.

    I like Brian, do not do much on FB, but I know many do.

    signed... she of the outed plaid bath robe. :)

  4. Isn't it amazing that this is today's world?

  5. I agree with you on the rapid change of information and lack of privacy. We do exposed all our glory, thinking we have all the windows closed. But its all out there...Enjoyed your share Patti ~


  6. Patti, it's me! Steve. Remember, we had coffee together. Now--that said, let me get that bathrobe, because, well, you must not see what I'm not wearing. No telling WHAT'S behind this monitor-glass looking back.

    Used to be--way in the back, just for kids--in the "Ladies Home Journal" a cartoon thing called "This is a watch-bird watching YOU!"

    So I was raised as being watched by something mysterious. You happen to remember that bird?

    And Yup, I 'do' a little FB, but not to excess. Well, if you describe excess as doing FB when I should be doing something else, ya got me! Break out the cuffs, take my prints, lock me up.

    Hey GREAT to be here with ya a couple minutes, girl!

  7. Your expose is true Patti; too true. I am wrapped up in it, telling myself that I need to be for work, but shackled to it none the less. Lord help us all...

  8. Given webcams and the projected upped-surveillance of our internet use, this is not so far away now.

    Your poem makes it - and makes it so cleverly - seem ominous. But there's a plus side. When my family went to the other side of the world for six months, we were able to chat every day, they could show me their surroundings, reassure me. For the housebound,the electronic age is a godsend.

  9. I remember when companies put up their AOL keywords on their commercials and ,amazing ads. Now it's Facebook fan pages. This too shall pass.

  10. I saw a tweet today (not someone I follow) that said, "Direct neural interfacing is the future." People will desire this, they will ask for it, they'll demand it. The Borg won't look like machine-human hybrids, they will look just like us.

  11. This is so clever; I really enjoyed it!
    It's true that now many do shares it all, opinions, nonsense status updates... to an extreme. On the plus side, as another commenter said, it does help "real friends" and family stay connected.

  12. You can say that again Patti! We've opened up too much. The PC is no more personal but we never realize. We exposed everything. The youngsters thought it would all be in the fun of things. Great write, Ma'am!


  13. Big Brother is definitely watching us. 'Let there be Facebook...' *giggle*


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