Thursday, June 04, 2009

the park of oversharing: a critique of cell phones and public spaces

seeing as how i am free lots of the time, i end up hanging out with one of my trivia (now defunct) friends and her cute kid. we go for walks and usually end up at this toddler park. it's tucked away from busy streets, and pretty quiet, usually no more than 5 kids and their moms/nannies plus me, the child(ish)less unemployed friend.

somehow, this little cul de sac in an urban area is also a haven for people to bare their souls. at the very least, they bare the souls of people they know. i first noticed it when a woman pulled over on the narrow street while we lolled in the shade on a hot day. she was on her cell phone and sat with the windows rolled down, i thought she was just finishing her conversation before she went into one of the nearby homes. instead she just got out and leaned against her car, loudly discussing what i guessed to be a client's mental state. i tried not to listen but it was fruitless since she made no pains to lower her voice. something about his course of therapy, my friend caught a bit about his divorce. then she got in back in her car and drove off. i suppose confidentiality was maintained, since we didn't know who the guy was, but the spirit of the rule was violated.

when we got there the next week, a mom was sitting on a bench asking about a relative's cancer condition while her child went down the slide. the other day i get a text from my friend alerting me that i was missing out on some people discussing their juvenile mental health patients. seriously? wtf, people. keep it at home or the office.

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