The Invasion of Privacy

Many people don’t realize the damage they inflict on a person by publicly exposing or sharing photos/videos etc. of someone who believed they were alone. Some people who are exposed feel dehumanized and never seem to recover. Different people cope with the situation in a variety of ways; some feel so ashamed that suicide seems to be the better getaway for them. Others deal with the situation head on and have the strength to face their victimizers. Individuals like Erin Andrews and Tyler Clementi are perfect examples of people who have encountered this issue which is an increasing concern.

Erin Andrews is a public figure. She is an American sportscaster and television personality. Andrews was filmed in her hotel room while she was changing by Michael Barrett who also stalked her previous to this incident. He would watch her on television and then eventually stalked her to the room next door in a Nashville hotel. Erin Andrews filed a lawsuit and dealt with her situation on the spot and fought to be heard. She also fought for this man to face consequences for his actions. “Erin Andrews has been awarded $55 million,  Andrews had asked for $75 million in her lawsuit over the 2008 incident, claiming ongoing emotional distress from the episode and the video’s continued existence online” (washingtonpost.com). Erin Andrews is a great example of an individual who was victimized and fought back against her victimizer. Not all people have her strength. 

Tyler Clementi attended Rutgers University and was exposed publicly on the internet in September 2010. Tyler was targeted for being different. His sexual preference was exposed when he wasn’t ready to share it with others. “That night, the authorities say, the Rutgers University student who sent the message used a camera in his dormitory room to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet, and three days later, the roommate who had been surreptitiously broadcast — Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman and an accomplished violinist — jumped from the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River in an apparent suicide” (nytimes.com). Tyler Clementi wasn’t as strong as Erin Andrews and ended up committing suicide. Since hearing this story many people have read about the impact he left. One outcome for many people was the realization that taking such drastic measures can take a huge toll on families and friends.

Not much is being done to address these situations. A lot of people are scared to speak up and tell people if someone is hurting them. There also aren’t any laws regarding posting someone’s personal business online. Most teens don’t think about the consequences of their actions and don’t think about how their actions affect others. This is a growing problem that is really not okay and should be controlled. There is a national suicide prevention lifeline that is willing to listen to any problems that one is facing, simply call 1 (800) 273-8255.

Written by Jenisa Castillo

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Photo Courtesy of Andy Ryan/Stone/Getty Images

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