Marshawn Lynch has been known to to be extremely private and has made an effort to steer clear of the media at all costs. The Seahawks running back was recently fined $100,000 for stiffing the media. Today, at a press conference held for Super Bowl Media Day, after answering all of his questions with the witty and downright hilarious response, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” TheOnion.com wrote a story stating that Lynch surprised the crowd by giving a 45 minute speech about privacy in the 21st century. After reading the speech, I couldn’t help but wish it were true.
While increasingly exhaustive access to media has delivered many benefits to the American way of life, this same heightened scrutiny has simultaneously imposed progressively greater obstacles to our personal privacy, thus presenting ethical challenges unique to the internet age. Privacy versus accessibility; secrecy versus convenience; the individual versus the greater virtual communities of the digital landscape. At first blush, these appear to be the fundamental poles around which the modern privacy debate circles, but they have only grown more multifaceted and complex as the technological paradigm perpetually shifts. When meditating on the give-and-take of ever-evolving technology, I am often reminded of a quote from George Orwell: ‘Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.’
Could it be, in perhaps the ultimate irony, that with every technological advancement, with every marvel of engineering that seemingly brings us closer together and rips down the very walls that once divided the world, that with every such step forward, we have become ever more guarded about our own personal boundaries and the information we are comfortable sharing with one another? And in doing so, do we in fact chip away at the very core of what makes for a civilized society, and in an even broader sense, the very notion of being human? For to be human is inherently to be social, and yet it is also to desire control. With the public domain seemingly encompassing a greater and greater volume of personal information, that control has been ceded. The so-called right to privacy, as it were, is no longer a right inasmuch as it is now a privilege, to be enjoyed until it is torn away at a moment’s notice. Conversely, we so often desire to break down that same right to privacy of our fellow human beings, shielding ourselves while exposing others, just as a snake devours its own tail. Perhaps the biggest question of all is whether privacy itself—at least in the traditional sense—even exists in today’s world, or if it is simply a relic of a past time that bears no more meaning or significance than Aristotelian physics or the idea of a geocentric universe. Simple answers to such queries do not exist, I’m afraid, but in exploring them, we can at the very least hold a mirror to society and possibly even to ourselves—and that is something I hope to accomplish with all of you here today.
How can you not respect this? Maybe this is EXACTLY how Marshawn really feels. And if so, the guy is right. And he absolutely has the right to not answer any questions if he chooses not to! As long as he’s handling his business on the field, why does it matter?