There are no more secrets, she thinks as she types her life story and inner thoughts out for the world to see.

Really though, there aren’t. People are not as demure as history tells us they once were, and each decade has steadily carried in a new level of shamelessness high on its palanquin.

It seems like everyone will talk about anything in public these days, and that’s fine. I’m more concerned when hints of desired subtlety are blatantly overlooked.

Like when you whisper secretly to a friend to look over at the cute guy across the room and they subsequently yell out, “WHO?? WHERE?? OH!” Or when you ask someone, quietly, whether or not your most recent meal is clinging dearly to your teeth and they loudly ask you to repeat yourself.

My most recent encounters with this loss of discreetness has been with a student. He is a tiny kid with a big voice. Often, while it is silent and a student has a question or I need to have a discussion with them, I approach and have a soft-spoken conversation. This is impossible when it comes to the student in question. Over the past couple of weeks I am consistently shocked by his loud voice. At first I thought he was disrespectful, and now I believe he simply never learned the art of speaking quietly.

I mean come on, there is a reason I am whispering to you. If I wanted a shouted response I would have shouted the question. This is common sense, right? Because now you’re just embarrassing me by loudly bringing attention to something I did not want any focus on.

And really, your loud responses to my soft one just sends us into a spiral. You are probably compensating for my quietness, maybe trying to get me to speak up? I am, in turn, even quieter to balance out the unwanted ruckus you are causing about the topic at hand.

What’s the middle ground here? Maybe I only speak with you one-on-one so you can be as loud as you want. Or maybe I learn to whisper slightly louder so you can hear me the first time, while making sure not to cross the sound barrier to anyone else’s ears!

Or maybe I just continue my slight voice and hope it will someday strike the balance between loud enough and personal.

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