Limited Views

When writing or blogging in public like I do, sitting down wherever the mood strikes, one of the most important things is privacy. I can’t stomach the fact that someone might me looking over my shoulder trying to peek into my screen. Privacy screens are definitely the way to go, especially if you are the type to work on trains or planes. How many times have I stopped myself from walking up to someone on the plane to berate them into getting a damn privacy screen. I’m pretty sure this would be a violation of some corporate NDA somewhere. If I can see their content from two rows back, so can anyone next to them.

I disliked the idea of something permanently stuck to your screen like many of these accessories tend to be. I rather prefer (and recommend) the magnetic ones – just remember to remove it if you are processing photos!

This fussiness of mine began with the mac and my horror of desecrating the screen. The trouble here is that the magnetic screens for macs tend to be more expensive, but hey, if you value your privacy, why the hell not.

So much for laptops. Another aspect people completely disregard is the visibility of their phone screens especially on public transportation. I’ve written about this before, at least twice, but it stuck me on the train into work this morning, how little people care about what others can see. Not all conversations on your messenger should be visible to the world, even if you think nobody will understand because you are writing in a foreign language. That may apply to some parts of the world where the language is less varied, but here in Europe, there is always, always somebody who will speak whatever you do, and it can be embarrassing. Portugal, I find, is especially dangerous for such cases. Berlin was adventurous in this regard, with it being a cultural and linguistic hub, but you find a lot more languages being thrown around here. Just hang around any given train station here and you can count at least six languages around you, between assorted African dialects and Eastern European languages, in addition to the commonly known ones, it’s the perfect training ground for polyglot spies! So yes, tempered glass privacy screens, although you sacrifice brightness, vibrancy, and even battery life, are the smart option.

Having said all this, much as I am blessed to speak several languages, it can also be a curse. I don’t care to overhear a couple argue about each other’s addictions (Portuguese), or a mother scolding her son about his attitude (German), a grandmother complaining to someone over the phone that she never sees her her grandchildren anymore (Spanish), but the worst is the group of teenaged girls gabbing about make-up (this one was bizarre mix of French, Polish, Italian and Danish). OMG. One the one hand it is hilarious to pick up on all these, even just the context of it, and I make notes to include them in a book someday, because real life, after all, is the best inspiration for fiction!

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