There can be little debate over whether or not today’s society is more open than any that have come before.
While there is an argument to be had that there are still far too many secrets locked away in government vaults across the world, it is a fact that the human race has developed a penchant for not just airing its dirty laundry in public, but has gone one step further and scrubs away at the most stubborn stains while not caring who is watching.
It is not quite 25 years ago since Bob Hoskins growled ‘it’s good to talk’ at millions of television viewers and back then that phrase was still an alien concept to many.
Not now. This trend for openness has resulted in the breaking down of many past taboos such as mental health and sexual orientation – progress which absolutely must be celebrated.
But getting it all out there isn’t always to be universally welcomed as, thanks to television shows such as Big Brother and the utterly extraordinary Naked Attraction, people believe they have the right to put everything into the public domain. We are officially a society of oversharers, something which has been accelerated by the proliferation of social media channels, such as Facebook and while there is much to be said for the argument that virtual friendships have harmed old fashioned human interaction, these platforms can be a force for good.
Last Friday I woke after a handful of hours sleep and felt the urge to share with my online pals why I felt especially delicate. I recounted the tale of how at 11pm the night before I had been finishing up a marathon meeting only to discover that I had left my house keys at home. With 1% of battery left on my phone, I rang my wife, knowing full well that it was an exercise in futility as she always has it on silent. Me neither. I proceeded to tell my captive audience (many of whom will have undoubtedly fallen asleep while reading the self indulgent missive) how I returned home to hammer on the door and ring the house phone with a mobile borrowed from a sympathetic pal.
Still no joy, so I rang my in-laws, who keep a spare key, and embarked upon an 80 mile round trip which resulted in a 2am bedtime. The last thing anybody wants on a Thursday after a dog of a week.
The message I posted was largely done to cheer myself up, a mission accomplished when I read the many responses from friends who were keen to share their own key-related buffoonery.
My favourite came from one chap who cheerily told a forum how he had also once locked himself out and was forced to sleep in the porch but to keep himself warm, cocooned himself in bubble wrap. Imagine his surprise when he awoke to find four bottles of milk beside him. In a nutshell, I am happy for anyone to overshare as long as they make me laugh like a drain.