People sure like to talk about it. It's usually used as an applause light, that is, something where the meaning isn't that important, it's just used as a signal that you should agree with the speaker.
Sometimes people make a distinction between "positive" and "negative" liberties or rights. Positive and negative aren't used in the sense of good or bad, more akin to the psychological sense of positive and negative reinforcement. Negative liberties are ones where in order to exercise them all you need is that nobody stop you from doing it, like freedom of speech, and positive rights are ones that require other people or society to help you exercise them, like the right to healthcare.
I don't think that distinction makes much sense. I'm unusual in that I think that a lot of the reason that countries like America seem so much freer than countries like the USSR (not to argue that they're not freer, just that the degree is exaggerated) is because in America a distinction is (nominally) drawn between governmental power and economic power, and for some reason we only consider misuse of governmental power to count as infringing on freedom. In the USSR or China or any other country with a very powerful government that is actively involved in the planning of the economy, the economic and governmental powers are obviously controlled by the same entity, so when somebody gets censored by the state-run media for advocating laissez faire capitalism, that's considered censorship. Contrast with in the USA, where the economic and political power are ostensibly separated and for whatever reason we only care about abuses of political power: you certainly don't see people advocating for hardcore Maoism here. You don't even really see anybody advocating for things that are very uncontroversial in rather similar countries, like single payer universal healthcare. There are definitely people who want these things, and want to advocate them in big public ways, but cannot, because the economic powers that be deny them the platform to do that. And this is not considered censorship.
I think that caring about whether something should be considered censorship, or a violation of X or Y right, is kind of a silly, outmoded way of thinking. Rights and liberties are not Aristotelian categories fallen from the heavens where it is Bad to do a thing that is a violation of a right, but if you can come up with a good enough argument for why it doesn't count as actually violating that right, then all of a sudden it's Good. That's ridiculous. What matters is whether or not the person was able to do the thing, not whether it was forbidden in a way that fits into your arcane rules about how to forbid things.
I have pretty much come around to think that freedom is being able to do what you want, and as a corollary to that, the only real freedom is economic freedom. Well, there are some others, but economic freedom is the most important, and you could argue that the others flow out of it, but that's kind of irrelevant. Now, I want to talk about economic freedom.
What do I mean by that? The phrase is used by a lot of people, and usually in a pretty precise way. I kind of mean what they mean, but I also mean something else, which a lot of them dislike. Other people use economic freedom to mean a free market capitalist society, which often includes the utter lack of a social safety net, something I strongly disagree with.
What I mean by economic freedom is "the ability to do whatever you want without it impinging on your ability to survive and thrive." This is a simplistic, one-sentence definition that does not capture everything I mean and will probably mislead anyone who reads it out of context, so please don't go spreading just that around as a summary of my position.
Obviously by "whatever you want" I don't include things that harm other people. Economic freedom doesn't mean you get to be a professional hitman. I do think it should include a lot of things that are illegal in many countries, such as being a drug dealer or a prostitute. "Without it impinging on your ability to survive and thrive" is pretty complicated, but basically, I think everybody should get a basic income. A basic income is a guaranteed amount of money that everyone gets no matter what. It's like welfare without the huge amount of paperwork and checking to make sure everyone is qualified, which would make it massively more efficient. It wouldn't go away as you gain income, meaning that there is always an incentive to work if you want more money, but never the fear of starving or (combined with UHC) dying of a disease if you don't work, so all jobs would need to be actually attractive. Most importantly, it would allow anyone to start a business of their own if they wish.
We're moving towards a post-scarcity economy, where there's really no need for work. We're basically already there. Only a tiny proportion of people do jobs that are actually necessary. Farmers are less than 1% of the population in America. We really need to structure society so that the enormous largesse we're distributing society's enormous wealth in a way that actually benefits everyone to the maximum degree.
Besides the freedom from worry, starvation, death, and disease, there is still a very large component of economic freedom: freedom to actually do what you want. Most people who work normal jobs in the first world don't have to worry about starving, hopefully they have good enough health insurance to not have to worry about disease (if they're in the USA, if they're in a civilized country then their universal healthcare will take care of it), though they do have to worry about whether they'll be laid off at any moment.
Furthermore, beyond just the fear of being laid off, there is also the constant, unceasing control that their jobs demand of them. Who at work for another can choose what they work on, how they do it, when they do it, for how long, can actually change it to suit their preferences, and take real pride, control, and ownership of the final product? Not very many, and those that can are a lucky few indeed. For most, working for someone else is soul-draining drudgery that constrains the spirit and saps their energy, leaving them without the ability to do things for themselves in the meager hours they have control of, on the evenings and weekends. No wonder passive entertainment is so popular. And many jobs even control what their workers do on their so-called "free time"! (what a phrase!) The ever-popular drug test: was there ever a more thorough invasion of privacy than to test someone's urine to see if they are enjoying themselves in a harmless manner that you disapprove of? The meme-creatures called corporations are truly among the most inhuman, and have the most incompatible set of preferences with the apes who do their bidding. It is remarkable that they are so good at manipulating them.That is not freedom. To choose what you wish to do with your life, your time, your sweat, your passion, your ingenuity, your work-that is freedom. And, at least in this current world, it is not something someone is going to hand you. You must go out and create it for yourself.