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OPINION: This is less of an etiquette question, and more of a privacy and security one.
I live on a very small, single-lane street where most of the houses are early 20th Century cottages; each one a mere metre from the footpath.
Often, whilst walking the dog in the evenings, I can see straight into other people’s windows, and indeed their lives.
It’s not as if I’m specifically staring into their homes, but rather, their homes are staring right at me. Like beacons of light amongst an otherwise dark, poorly-lit road.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t look into others’ homes sometimes. Truth be told, I’m more fascinated by their interior decorating skills than anything else.
Do I think my neighbours should have to close their curtains to avoid my occasional gaze?
Not at all. I see it as part of the charm of living in a historical street – we all say hello to each other anyway, the road isn’t a thoroughfare so it’s not busy, and seeing each other go about our daily lives gives us a real sense of community.
I can appreciate this situation is a little unconventional, because most people in this situation would be horrified at the idea of this kind of “fishbowl living”.
If passersby can see into your house and either valuables are on display, or the room visible is a functional, private, family space, by all means you should keep your curtains closed.
However – and perhaps this is just the personal preference of myself and my neighbours – keeping pulled curtains isn’t a particularly pleasant way to live. Especially in summer when the sun can be out past 9pm.
The question to ask yourself is, “What do I value more: my privacy, or the comfort of enjoying my own home as it is intended?”
Home, for me, is all about comfort, but it’s also a safe space. If anything impinged on that feeling of safety – i.e. I saw a person not just briefly glancing at my house whilst walking by, but blatantly staring from a standstill – I would reconsider my position.
Make the decision whether to close your curtains or not based on the locale of the street you live on, and your own personal judgement call concerning your unique privacy, security, comfort, and general home enjoyment needs.
Continue reading this article at the original source from Stuff.co.nz
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