Pat Downs, Privacy, and Philosophical Rants

I’ve flown every week this month and twice I’ve been “randomly selected” for a security pat-down. I wondered, as I gathered my stuff and the walked away the first time, “Why does this intrusion seem ok, almost a routine, normal part of travel?” 


Then, again today, security in San Antonio randomly (with flashing red lights and a very loud buzzer) selected me, and two other women for the pat down. I stood, legs apart, arms held high, as a TSA stranger started at my waist and patted down each leg. I was cleared, then released. The young woman behind me was set free moments later, she found me and asked, “Has that happened to you before in AMERICA?”

She must not fly much.

We were in San Antonio this week for Cityscape-a Cru gathering-at a hotel situated along the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk. As I walked the hotel halls I was consciously aware of the camera’s digital eye peering down, recording my comings and goings all week long. Maybe I watch too much Castle and British spy shows, but clearly, we are no longer free to anonymously go about our lives. 

On a similar note, I’ve become weary of Facebook and Instagram…I feel like both a slave and a spy as I mechanically meander down my homepage gawking at photos and videos of people I barely know. Then, inwardly compelled, somehow, to eport my routine as if it’s normal to let several thousand people in on my whereabouts several times a day.

Perhaps it’s the growing philosopher inside that urges me  to s.t.o.p and t.h.i.n.k. for a minute…and to rant…we don’t have to give away everything.

How were we (I signed up years ago!) so easily enticed into routinely recording the status of our lives-the mundane and banal, the meritorious and momentous, the precious and once private? 

Have you ever wondered about this like I have?

Don’t get me wrong. Certainly, airport security and social media isn’t all bad. Sadly, I don’t think we can avoid an occasional pat down. But  I do believe that we most certainly have the choice to filter what we take in and what we put out there for all the world to see, to judge as right or wrong, to condone as true or false. The choices we make have sometimes beautiful, redemptive results. Other times, when we’re not thoughtful, the consequences are irreversible. 

I’m just sayin’….



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