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Voyeurism, harmful effects...

Updated on February 19, 2012

A new past time?...

The impact of social media and the tabloid gossip machine has lead to the new collective past time, voyeurism - watching others, although it is defined specifically attaching it to sexual fascination. In my opinion it has anything to do with watching someone else live their lives, whether through a window, on tv, in the gossip tabloid or newspapers and in person.

Wikipedia defines Voyeurism as the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behavior, such as undressing, sexual activity or other activities that are normally considered private.

But a lot of us do not seem to understand what or where the lines of privacy are, begin or end. I don't know you because i read something about you written by someone else. And i don't even know you, if i am a friend because we don't seem to share with others our honest opinions, our hurts, or what we are going through, without being jumped upon, if i am in disagreement, or you don't feel you can trust me or want to feel judged.

Don't get me wrong, voyeurism has been around since mankind, cities and civilizations. That's just a part of human behavior that has a long history, there are stories about the Roman Empire and Pompeii but even the Bible discusses this bad behavior of disrespect and how it should not be accepted.

Anyway, In some places Voyeurism, paraphilia, is a disorder, a nuisance when it comes to the law unless we start seeing the person's fascination develop into stalking, sexual fantasies or violence, threats or otherwise.

It's interesting how everything is so sexually charged now a days down to the commercials we watch to purchase any product from cars to perfumes, even to the foods we eat. The mantra that 'sex sells' has been spouted by the best of the advertising execs and we, the John Doe public has bought it lock, stock and barrel.

I find it interesting with all the information that is available to us that we still continue to engage in activities and behaviors that end up causing us more harm than good. And voyeurism is at the top of my list, it has evolved as far as i am concerned and has lead to the general public living their lives watching others live their lives.

I ask myself constantly, "Why is reality tv with all it's bad behavior and exploitation such a billion dollar industry and why are we so interested in watching others live their lives while we sit and our lives pass us by?"

I have gotten answers such as, 'it's entertaining', 'it's interesting to know how celebrities live'. But while we make these people rich, living their lives, edited for tv, or the tabloids, they can care less about you, your daily life and what a sad thing.

I am amazed at how fascinated we are with watching others. Sad but true and i find myself questioning my daughter, and her friends about their form of entertainment, when they could be out living their own life or doing something amazing.

I am flabbergasted at the blatant bad behavior that has been okayed by this generation as acceptable, just because these people are on tv. They are showing their worst self to entertain others all for money and exposure.

Bad behavior in any society is unacceptable on any level and that should never be entertaining.

My mother used to say, "the higher the monkey climbs the more ass he exposes". I used to wonder about that saying and at times i got a glimpse of what it meant, if i knew what context she was referring to, now as an adult i have better insight.

That is fodder for the evolutionists and for those who believe in creation as well, but we all know that the underlying idea is that - the stupider we behave the more of an ass we seem and people lose respect for us even though they are fascinated.

That is like us watching the animals in cages at the zoo, fascinating but not right.

Voyeurism, the new past time is like that - fascinating but not right. As much as i would like to say watching others live their lives is fascinating because it is for scientific reasons, i find it goes beyond that - it is a total waste of your time and life.

Entertainment should last a few hours and end, giving you a sense of fulfillment and then closure. It should give you some information, some history, some encouragement and even an opportunity to escape your own world for a time but it should never usurp your being involved and living your own life.

Voyeurism, has lead to invasions of privacy, stalking, sexual violence, and interpersonal difficulties for people who go beyond just viewing or watching. These individuals become fascinated and then possessive, infringing on the privacy boundaries of others normally from a distance. They become obsessive, their lives become wrapped up in their focus on something outside themselves - detached.

They use cameras - scopophilia, they follow, they impose, they get into people's private lives, they pay others to give them information, they step over personal lines and do not understand why the other person feels uncomfortable. They dig through people's trash, and pop into their victim's life at times when those particular people are living their own lives.

Voyeurism is just a nicer word for 'Peeping tom', you know that crazy, compulsive guy or girl who looks through windows, holes etc to watch someone living their lives.Voyeurism gives people a sense of detachment, causing them to objectify the one they are watching. It oversteps the bounds of fantasy or imagination and spills over into an uncontrollable life.

It can be consensual or non consensual, but no matter what, it is the behavior of another participant that just watches until they cross the line.

Now a days people have invited the voyeur into their homes, their bedroom, their bathroom, their everyday activities and feel that it is quite ok, but is it?

We have to ask ourselves is it worth it to give up our personal privacy or to infringe on someone else's, because one thing i do notice and many of us are collectively nodding our heads about, is that we are not handling or teaching our children how to act properly or to deal with their emotions when they are confronted with situations in their lives.

Yes, there are advantages to social media and knowing how others live. But when we have individuals living behind all of the technology and not interacting with other human beings the world is worst for it, we are meant to be apart of family, a part of the human race.

You know that unit where people live together, communicating and making the world a better place. That place where we find love, affection, encouragement, our sense of identity.

If a person can only express themselves behind technology and not face to face with others that agree or disagree, we are losing what makes us human beings.

Harmful effects...

  1. Detachment
  2. Isolation
  3. Vulnerability to dangers, con artists, sexual predators and misinformation
  4. Abuse
  5. Rantings and verbal abuse
  6. No confidence in public
  7. Bad behavior
  8. Sickness and disease

Combating harmful effects

Step 1. We need to take responsibility

Step 2. We need to find alternatives, involve your children in some other activity, that has nothing to do with tv, radio, movies, video games, the net, the phone, the computer and social media. Find a way where you have silence and lead them into a conversation.

Step 3. We need to talk to each other, face to face!

  1. No phones, no net, nothing but a quiet space and facing one another.

Step 4. We need to dialog with people about what we are calling entertainment, about our differences, our opinions and whatever we are interested in without being offensive or offending, when we disagree.

Step 5. Parents need to be the first line of defense with their children and their children's friends, no matter how uncomfortable, we are the guards on the walls.

Step 6. Never assume your child is mature enough to handle all the information that is being thrown at them, i don't care how brilliant they are, maturity is how we learn to handle the bombardment of information coming our way. We choose to use it or reject it, but just because you have knowledge does not mean you have the wisdom to use it properly.

Step 7. Be honest - let your child know how you feel about things, apologize when you are wrong, encourage when they get things right and discipline, when corrective behavior is needed.

Voyeurism is bad because we are not living, if all we are doing is watching!


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