Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Tuesday Talk Back: Have you ever read someone else’s journal?


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Could there ever be any good reason to read someone else’s journal? Or is it always an invasion of privacy? I touched upon this in a recent post about Kurt Cobain’s posthumously published journals. It came up again when I read about the Joker notebook that Heath Ledger kept while filming The Dark Night. (Old news I know, but I’ve only just heard about it.) 

I’ve heard stories of parents who looked to answers in the diaries of their troubled teens. Does an action like this ever play out well? Or does it always lead to feelings of betrayal and a lifetime of resentment by the child towards the parent? There is a rather lengthy discussion about this on Reddit entitled: Parents, have/do you read your children’s diaries? If so, did you feel guilty and did you find anything surprising or disturbing?

Ever read a journal belonging to one of your friends?

Created by and starring Lena Dunham, HBO’s Girls is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their mid-20s. In Season 1, episode 4, (“Hannah’s Diary”) Hannah’s friend Ray spies her diary and begins reading it. Later in the episode, Charlie sings a new song at a gig and dedicates it to his girlfriend Marnie. The song is made up of lyrics pulled from the pages of Hannah’s diary detailing why Marnie should break up with him. Furious, Marnie dumps a drink on a dumbstruck Hannah and storms out. Ouch!


2 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk Back: Have you ever read someone else’s journal?

  1. Simple put I believe reading someone’s personal \ private journal or diary while they are alive without their consent a invasion of privacy. The very definition of “Personal – belonging or relating to a particular person” or “Private – for the use of a single person or group : belonging to one person or group : not public” should be enough to say that a person’s personal \private journal or diary is that person’s property and people regardless who they are should keep their grubby paws off of it and their nosy noses and eyes out of it. I would also say if you know or think that someone is reading your journal \ diary and you do not want them to first off confront them and then take measures to secure it. The simplest method is to lock it up or develop your own shorthand, code, or cipher if you are reading this do a search on cipher’s. I used one for years and still use one at work that is based on one Thomas Jefferson used. I started using one in my private diary \ journal when I caught my mother reading my diary, needless to say I learned how to make my entries shorter since I had to encode or \ decode whatever I wrote but it kept the prying eyes of mother at bay. The only time I think it is proper to read a person’s personal \ private journal or diary is after the writer of that Journal or diary has died and even then I think some time should pass before doing so. I know some parents think they have the right to read their kids diary or journal but speaking from my experience of when I caught my mother reading mine decades ago when I was a teen for me it drove a wedge of distrust and for years a certain amount of hate that took years to resolve and could of been avoided with honest two way conversation instead of the “Let Talk” interrogations. Lastly, the comments, statements I made above are my opinions and mine alone and opinions are like certain body orifices everybody has one.

  2. Only Sylvia Plath’s. Otherwise, no. Oh, a couple of friends have invited me to read their “LiveJournal” entries but hard to consider that actually reading their journals when it was by invitation and on the ‘net. Never read anyone else’s private journals and wouldn’t do so. Definitely an invasion of privacy.

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