by Daniel A. Kaufman
There are any number of reasons not to snoop. One violates another person’s privacy. One communicates suspicion and distrust. One presumes too much. But the biggest, best, most important reason is this: You don’t want to know what you are going to find out. And you will find out something that you don’t want to know.
People are complicated. People are contradictory. People like all kinds of weird things. People can be quite gross. And all of this is true of almost everyone, in a perfectly harmless way. [I’m not talking about the one poor soul in ten million who is unfortunate enough to live with a serial killer who buries corpses under the house.] People pick their noses and dig around in their crotches and eat disgusting concoctions and enjoy weird kinks and the like. Most are aware of these things about themselves and indulge their grosser, more off-putting predilections in private. That is, we seek privacy, precisely so as not to display our less- or un-appealing selves to our friends and loved ones, and it is done out of kindness and consideration. So, why would anyone want to snoop around and find out about it?
My interest on this occasion, however, isn’t snooping but rather, sharing. For the same reason one shouldn’t snoop, one also shouldn’t share: There are things that people just don’t want to know about you. And this is especially true of people whom you’ve never met and who have no interest in getting to know you.
The worst in this regard are the public kinksters, by which I mean people who think it’s a good idea to display their sexual fetishes in public, regardless of who else might be there. [“Pup-Play” enthusiasts who parade their human “pups” up and down public streets is just one stomach-churning example of this sort of thing.]  Most common, however, and much lower on the inappropriateness-ladder, are those who like to exhibit their mental illnesses and disabilities or myriad “identities,” whether descriptively or via “emoticons” and “emojis.” This is how you wind up in a situation where people you don’t know think it’s essential, nevertheless, to tell you [and everyone else] that they are queer; transgender; “neuro-divergent”; pansexual; asexual; bipolar; borderline; furry; vegan; “intersex”; an “ally” to all the aforementioned; etc. So, you may not know so-and-so from Adam; have no idea how old so-and-so is or what so-and-so does for a living or whether so-and-so is American or French or whatever. But, you will know that they “use” ‘quin/querk’ pronouns and like to dress up in a skunk costume and do a Number Two on a dinner plate.
I understand that we’ve incentivized this sort of “identify-and-overshare, ” which is why there’s so much of it, but the cost should never be far from one’s mind. As I said on another occasion, “Brandishing your failures and weaknesses and disorders will do nothing but invite contempt from others, though they may lie to you about it,” and it is beyond foolish to think that just because there is an official line promoting tolerance and acceptance, people actually practice it; that once you’ve megaphoned all of your disorders and problems and told everyone the gross, weird things you like and do, down to the last queasy detail, people will still want to engage with you.  They won’t, and they shouldn’t. Because, the truth is that this kind of sharing represents the worst in public manners; the sort in which a person imposes him or herself on unwilling others. Almost like a discursive version of flashing or indecent exposure, where rather than pull your dick out in front of a bunch of people, you give them a lurid, graphic account of the things you like to do with it instead.
Don’t tell us about yourself. Please. We don’t want to know.