Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Response to "Facebook and Modesty": Overstating the Case
A recent post on Aish.com ostensibly tackled the hava amina that Facebook was ipso facto "untzniusdik":
"Modesty doesn’t just mean the length of our hemlines. Modesty is an attitude. It’s how we talk, it’s how we walk, it’s how we conduct ourselves. It’s a sense of dignity and privacy and a focus on our inner selves. Modesty means I am not looking for credit, I am not looking for honor, I am not trying to draw attention to myself. And then along comes Facebook which seems to encourage the exact opposite."
Based upon a previous thesis of mine regarding the possible mistranslation of "tznius", this was my response [which they actually let through]:
"The author may have inadvertently highlighted one of the problems with defining "tznius" as "modesty" as opposed to "discretion", which indicates that maybe reducing digital oversharing is more a matter of basic common sense: rather than "feeling a heightened pleasure" [which borders upon self-congratulation, another hallmark of the digital age], maybe just ask "does anyone want to/need to see this?". Once it's called "modesty" and not "discretion", it's no longer about "an attitude...]i]t’s how we talk, it’s how we walk, it’s how we conduct ourselves. It’s a sense of dignity and privacy and a focus on our inner selves." Rather, it becomes a backdoor overcorrection in an attempt to spiritualize an arena resistant to it, if not discourage participation in said arena. Whole different ballgame than "not looking for credit,  not looking for honor,  not trying to draw attention to myself.""