Riddle Me This: When is a Secret Not a Secret?

If you guessed that a secret is NEVER a secret, you are correct.

As a young boy, my dad once advised me that if I didn’t want people to know my business, I should keep my mouth shut. That was pre-Internet, pre-social
media, pre-Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, pre-reality TV, pre-it is better to be seen and not heard days.

Whether you are a business fat cat, a hot celebrity or a regular Joe, the same rule applies: nothing is private anymore. This is a fact, not an opinion. Nothing is off the record, nothing is just between us, nothing is on the down-low. Welcome to 1984.

It isn’t right, and it most definitely isn’t good, but it is what it is. The last hope for privacy is to keep your mouth shut and your hands still (as in no email or text or posting on Facebook or Twitter or your blog or LinkedIn or YouTube).

My dad said “Silence is Golden.” I had no idea.

Once upon a time, people who couldn’t keep a secret were called gossips and busybodies and loudmouths and stool pigeons. Now they are called everyone.

The entire planet has become the new Tower of Babel (Babble?). I think Glen Campbell said it best:  “Everybody’s talkin’ bout me, I don’t hear a word their sayin’, only the echoes of my mind.”

Nothing is secret, very little is sacred and the more attention you can get, the better.

Evolution is a very fickle process. Is it possible to die from TMI?

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.