Home Advice Why Everyone Doesn’t Have A Right To Know Your Personal Business

Why Everyone Doesn’t Have A Right To Know Your Personal Business



We’ve reached the end of a tumultuous week that saw yet again gender relations in society pushed to the brink of an all-out war. Stephen A. Smith put his foot in his mouth and then spent much of the rest of the week trying to put two fingers in his mouth to vomit his foot out of it. Ray Rice capped it off with a contrite and hopefully sincere press conference that saw him finally apologize to his wife, his teammates, his organization and the city of Baltimore. Did he need to do a press conference? I’m not sure but we’ll leave that decision up to him. What we do know is that the general public and the media wanted to hear what he had to say. The unwritten right of the American people that they have a “right to know” even though that language appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution suggests that he needed to do a press conference or that he was required to do the press conference.

The same way we wanted a comment or quote from Beyonce and Jay-Z after the incident with Solange on that elevator. We all watched the video of Jay and Solange engaged in a sibling-in-law rivalry in a 6×6 box and we looked for every detail we could find. However, that never stopped us from wanting to know; “Is there sound on that elevator? I want to know what was said.” Then, we waited patiently for a message from the Carters or at least an interview with Oprah. Isn’t that the only respectable thing to do?

And to be perfectly honest, this post isn’t about domestic violence at all. It’s about when the general public feels they have a right to know your personal business and how we respond to that request from them.

See Also:  Trial by Media: George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting

A couple days ago, I assumed Twitter was just doing what they normally do and speculate on issues about relationships like $200 dates, who pays for the plane ticket, women proposing, following significant others on Twitter, Love & Hip Hop (or Basketball Wives because I really can’t tell the difference), and Jay-Z and Beyonce. But then I realized that not only was Black Twitter talking about Jay-Z and Beyonce but the media was doing so also. I pretty much treat everything I see on Twitter related to news the same way; I google it to see if any respectable source is also covering it.

I stumbled across this article on The Gothamist that gave me a quick recap of what everyone was talking about but it ended the first paragraph with an excellent quote,

“Let’s all talk about this deeply private part of the lives of two people we don’t know personally, shall we?”

Well, damn.

I know it’s hard to actually stop and reflect on that point because our desire to want to know intimate details of another person’s life can’t be contained. However, I think it’s really important that we stop right there and have a discussion.

You see, most of the advice that I give people about their relationships is that they need to first understand that people don’t have a right to know anything. They want to know but they don’t need to know. When we think about it everyone else is ruining everything we have inside our relationship. We’re all trying to respond to what everyone else wants us to do. Whether it’s a “bae probate,” something I heard about two days ago which means when you and your significant other post pictures together on Instagram. Instagram, a social media platform that exists only for obtaining affirmation from others. Or whether it’s a post on Facebook on your engagement or how you’ve found the love of your life. It’s this need for informing people outside of your situation that’s a burden no relationship should have to bear.

See Also:  Five Things You Need to Know (4/26/2013)- Skylar Diggins Signs to Roc Nation

The point is, the general public doesn’t need to know anything about your personal life. It’s easier that way too. Your girlfriend won’t be bothering you about why you won’t post your relationship status on Facebook or make it known to your Twitter followers. Your boyfriend won’t be asking you won’t post any pictures on him on #MCM but there’s a dude he doesn’t know that likes all your pictures. And then… there’s a whole laundry list of other things from the status of your relationship to if you have started to discuss marriage that you won’t have to deal with if you keep your private life private.

That’s why if this week has taught us anything it should be that we should all be looking for ways to ignore the public opinion that they have a “right” to know the details of our personal lives. And it should start with us reducing the urge from within that we “want” to know the details of others personal lives.

Dr. J


  1. THANK YOU, DR. J!!!!

    I don’t subscribe to sharing Personal Info to folks all the time- especially on Social Media (FB, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc). Folks can’t talk about Violations of Privacy when the Only Way ppl can find out is by Voluntarily Disclosure.

    As far as Celebs and Gossip, there are many questions- Are they Role Models or Aren’t They? Are We (Public Fans) Obligated to their lives because we Pay for their Works (Movies/TV, Sports games/apparel, Music-Concerts, etc)? Heck, this Nikki Minaj drama is another issue as it pits Parents (Mothers & Fathers), Feminists (Black & White; Men & Women), and Hip-Hop in a War convoluted in Race, Sexuality, and Women’s Expression of Themselves and of Socy as a whole.
    Finally, for Stephen A. Smith- this has been spoken about twice this week, so I will just leave this here:

    I love the converstations lately on SBM. We need more of these and Hopefully more folks can read and AT LEAST Respect the diverse opinions of ppl who visit the site and the writers who post

    1. That wasn’t really subliminal jc…You’re allowed to communicate directly (when it makes sense).

      But people SHOULD be called out on BS no? Or is soc media for “all discussion, no progression?”

      I know I don’t wanna’ be lied to…Oh well…

      1. You must have me confused with somebody who only sees 1-side of gender topics and gives the other a pass- kinda like how the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

        But is expect a person from a different group to be biased and not hold their allies accountable.

        1. Ha! Wow. I will just agree to disagree. Dont think we will ever see eye to eye on these issues. Unfortunately. Ethics and Erratics just don’t mix…

          I will stop calling you out on your woman bashing and cheating stories because our world is better with nonsense really.

    2. I love the conversations lately on SBM. We need more of these and Hopefully more folks can read and AT LEAST Respect the diverse opinions of ppl who visit the site and the writers who post


  2. Don’t know where the quote came from but “what other people think of you is none of your business.” Similarly, “not everything you think is necessary to be shared.” Taking us even further to the “mind your own business.”
    It’s just that simple.

    1. I hadn’t heard that first quote, but it’s an interesting one. I know how you intended it here, so I won’t debate it, but I may have to bring it up elsewhere.lol

  3. I deleted all my social media accounts. Nowadays there are prospective employers, banks, insurance companies, family, friends, etc. looking at your FB, twitter, and other accounts. Social media can affect your life in so many ways, I just made the decision to delete them all. I love my privacy.

  4. Dr. J is back!

    Agree cosign hashtag all that!

    This is a mens site but as a woman who has deep interest in non fluffy airhead things and gossip, if you arent into gossip and bein’ all up in others biz many women will find that boring. Just bein real.

    My biggest pet peeves in life are condescenscion, airheaded women, brute chauvinistic men, and jealous people (gossipers).

    They can all jump off the brooklyn bridge as far as im concerned. And I could care less about BeyJayYeDre-whoever! Never helped increase MY networth! Give me a socially conscious celeb like a JT then I might care a bit…No not really…Ok kind of?

  5. Tavis Smiley spoke at a event back in my college days and he ended with this quote from his mother: “There are 24hrs in a day, 12hrs to mind your business, and 12hrs to stay out of mine”!

  6. People really feel like they know these people/superstars but they really don’t. The masses sit around discussing this stuff more so than knowing the very laws that are changing around them. God forbid they pay attention to thorough political stands or positions, even though they too are affected by it. It’s so ridiculous how people crave this nonsense. It’s equally ridiculous how the Ego influenced stars feel the need to respond, or set the record straight.

    My business is on a need to know basis; you’re either relevant or you’re not.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get SBM Delivered

Get SBM Delivered

Single Black Male provides dating and relationship
advice for today's single looking for love

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This