Blurring of the personal sphere

“One eye witness is better than ten hear sayers.”

 – Titus Maccius Plautus

IN A WORLD of hyper-speed information transfer system more commonly known as the Internet, people have become accustomed to sharing virtually everything. From movies, music, pictures, e-mails, status messages, and tweets—our idea of a personal sphere has been muddled with everyone else’s, resulting in a massive blob of communal existence.

This reality comes with a disadvantage. As people have become used to sharing the different aspects of their lives to one another, the notion of seclusion and confidentiality has been reduced to social media accounts set to private. However, our existence and presence is still out there in the Internet. A part of us is still shared in the online world.

With this concept of sharing, and the blurring of the personal sphere, I will now delve into a necessary consequence of the lack of privacy—gossip.

In a small community such as the Ateneo Law School, people will inevitably talk about matters, which may or may not involve common experiences, terror professors, lives of blockmates or schoolmates, and campus controversies. There is, of course, nothing unusual or abnormal about this structure. We like to talk about ourselves and others. Discourse is a natural human activity.

However, it is important to point out that many things can get lost in translation. As we transfer information from one friend to another, and as the story spreads all throughout the community, a minor change in detail can spell the difference between a mindless, harmless chatter, and a ruined reputation. Sharing unsubstantiated stories, or in legal terms, “hearsay”, about other people, may create adverse and highly damaging consequences.

This school year, the News Team of The Palladium aims to address the controversies hounding the Ateneo Law School community by reporting the stories based on reliable sources, and substantiated facts. Our news articles cover issues frequently discussed and debated upon by the students, such as the so-called “Kill Order” from the school administration, the shooting of an ALS barrister, the snatching incident in Rockwell, the scuffle in Draft Gastropub, and other similar incidents. Hopefully, these articles will shed some light on certain school issues, and provide a more accountable basis for peer-to-peer discussions.

As future lawyers, we are encouraged to be more cautious in divulging information about ourselves, and other people. With that in mind, the responsibility falls on our shoulders to create an atmosphere of accountability in discussing the controversies and issues within our small community. P


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