Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Feeling Safe

The tree story was cool, but so was the fact that they felt safe printing her home address.

The above quote was from a visitor to one of my posts (see Wordless Wednesday - "An Uncommon Tree" ). How perceptive!

When I was growing up, we did not lock our doors - not to our homes and not to our cars. This was an early source of contention when I was a newlywed. My new husband insisted everything be locked up tight - all the time. This, of course, made me feel caged.

"My mother taught me that locked doors don't keep dishonest people out!" I told him.

"Well, my mother taught me that locked doors keep honest people honest!" he retorted.

In truth, both mothers were probably right. My mother was from small-town, Texas; DH's mother was from an agricultural community in California. Over the years, I learned to lock everything up. This got me into trouble a few times when I locked my keys in the car.

As a nation, we have progressed from leaving our doors unlocked and publishing names and addresses in the newspaper to protecting our identities from being stolen and keeping everything as secret as possible. Locking doors is only a small part of that protection.

Identification by name and address seems to have been replaced by identification by age. I am amazed that almost all the news stories will refer to the person by name, followed by the person's age. Are there so many people in the area by the same name that this qualifying identity is required? Did the person act in a newsworthy manner based on her / his age? I wonder when that phase began.

My great-aunt grew that papaya tree from the seeds of a fruit she bought at the grocery store. I don't remember when the article was published; it appears to be in the 50's. She was identified by name and address. I wonder if she would consent to its publication now if she were identified only by name and age. In this day of Internet research, who believes someone couldn't track her down?

How our times and feelings of safety have evolved.


  1. And in the blogging world we all know eachother, but how many do we know by name and full address? I don't publish the names of my family (except for the one who blogs under his own name) because I don't want their privacy invaded.
    The danger of identity theft is very worrying.

  2. I agree, Dragonstar. Unfortunately, I think nost of us could be traced if someone really wanted to go the trouble.


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