Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Internet Realities

I grew up in a time where technology was blooming. I remember getting our first family computer, adding in a second phone line for a dedicated internet connection. I remember staying up late chatting on ICQ, AIM and MSN messenger. I remember napster, limewire, and the wonders of Lenny Loosejocks. 

Fast forward to today and I carry a computer a million times better than our first family computer in my pocket. I watch make up tutorials on YouTube from women in New Zealand. I catch up with loved ones and share precious moments of my life on Facebook and Instagram. I have twitter but never tweet because I don't have anyone to tweet to. (I do not understand Twitter. At all.) I blog and read the blogs of others. I'm so computer-y, I even Reddit from time to time. Watch out now!

I used to comment on blogs. And on YouTube videos. And news articles, but I don't anymore. 

The internet is a wondrous and scary place. In the past, when the internet was just birthed, it was a place to stay anonymous. Don't give out personal information! Don't talk to strangers! Don't meet up with ANYONE from the internet. Ever. They will most likely, and I mean a 90% chance here, kill you. 

Now, we live in a world where almost every website encourages (and some require) you to use your real name. To include where you live and where you work in your profile. Facebook has taken over so many website commenting systems so that your real name shows up. Disagree with an article about how to train your dog? All of a sudden, you are barraged with people writing to you and messaging you about how it's cruel to make your dog pee outside when it's snowing. 

They say that this keeps people from cyber-bullying. Maybe. But people say horrible things and their real name is attached. So I don't really think it's as effective as we are lead to believe. 

Now, it's gotten to the point where Facebook sells our information and Google refuses to let us chose what to post on our Google+ pages. Every YouTube comment is available for everyone to see. Not only that, but if I watch a video on YouTube because I'm interested in how the whole mama cloth thing works, people can see that I watched it. Or that I liked it. Am I ashamed that I am interested in learning about mama cloth? No. Do I want to broadcast for the world that I'm looking into a throwback way of dealing with Flo? NO.

There is no privacy on the internet anymore. 

I click on an article on Facebook about marriage health, like it, and all of a sudden I get a text from a family member asking if Bryan and I are okay. 

I comment on a blog post in which I don't agree (respectfully of course) and my full name is right there. In plain sight. This may not be a big deal, but what if some creeper sees my name, gets really angry that no I don't like the color of the year, and tracks me down at my work and bonks me on the head? Is it probable? Not at all. Is it possible? Yes. Crazy people react for any number of reasons. Anything about my life could offend someone else. Maybe that I'm a Christian? That we don't vaccinate? That I'm a libertarian? Who knows! 

I blog here and because it's blogger, you can see my name right up there, somewhere. Google it and my Facebook page is the third from the top. That gives you not only my last name, which you already have, but my maiden name. Click it and you'll find out more information from my profile, even though I try to set everything to private, private, private. Facebook undoes it with every update. The first two being an actresses website and IMDB page. Google my maiden name, find my ancestry profile (which, nope, I didn't put on there myself) and you see who my parents are. First, middle and last name. Keep searching and you'll find where I bought my wedding invitations from. It's amazing and terrifying. 

Let's not forget that it's not just creepy potential murderers that are accessing our information and full names. Report after report is coming out that our government is receiving our data from these websites and filing it away for future use. 

The internet is a wondrous place. It is filled with knowledge and potential. The sharing of lives. It connects people near and far that they may not have met otherwise. It is an outlet. A creative space. A treasure trove. But it is dangerous. It is scary. What you put into this world wide web is now attached to you forever. Everything you do, everything you say, everything you research is there for the taking. Many say "well, I have nothing to hide. I don't care if people access my personal information or if these companies or governments catalog it for whatever reason." 

To me, it's not about that I have everything or nothing to hide. I have nothing to hide in my house and yet, I keep my curtains drawn. I keep my blinds closed. Because even though I'm just a normal girl, living in a normal neighborhood, I still dance around and sing into a hairbrush when no one is looking. It's not bad, but it's not my neighbors business either. 


Post a Comment

Thanks for posting at Embrace the Crazy!

We love making new friends and we love comments.

However, this is a drama-free zone. As much as we love crazy, we don't love THAT kind of crazy.

We reserve the right to zap any mean, hurtful, or snarky comments right off the internet never to be seen again! (Bwa-ha-ha.) But, we sure do love constructive criticism and some helpful ideas and opinions! Can't wait to hear yours! :)