Relative anonimity

Do you remember phonebooks?

The paper kind. Huge thick books that got delivered to your house every year containing the names, addresses and landline numbers to everyone you ever knew.

Conveniently sorted village by village so that you could know pretty much everyone in your neighborhood without ever meeting them. And everyone was fine with that.

Can you even imagine?

These days our privacy is such a thing. And that in a world that is ever increasingly designed for access. Everyone is tracking everything everywhere and even though this has been a thing ever since we evolved past using grunts as name indicators…suddenly we’re becoming more and more aware AND consequently…bothered…about people knowing our business.

I am one of these people. Sort of. In waves.

There’s times I suddenly get worried about my visibility and online footprint. Usually after run-ins with creepy stalkery dudes online. Or unwanted exes on the approach. Or that-one-guy-from-that-one-time that randomly checks in via social media every 6 months like clockwork. Options aplenty. Because with all of the increased access – folk get more and more creative in ‘finding’ entry points as well. Comes with the territory.

So, as I’ve bragged before, I go on an online cleanse every couple of months. Clean up timelines to the very few socials I upkeep. Sweep through followers list to pluck out unwanted viewers. Incognito Google myself and then work on getting entries removed that feature my way-too-unique name. Things like that.

This time round I went a bit further, even. Locking up public profiles for Facebook and LinkedIn. Removing location data everywhere that’s possible. Archiving old posts and profile pics and switching up profile tags to unrecognizables. Which, obviously, in no way makes me impossible to find. But a lot harder, at the very least.

So that you KNOW that the people that do still end up finding and contacting you have gone through creepy amounts of work to do so. A red flag that’s always convenient when building up court cases, ya know? Just saying.

Still.

Anonymity is only relative. We all approach it differently, in vastly varying amounts of paranoia. I have friends who use and abuse every social media option out there, fully visible, with as much tmi details as any soul could handle. Not a care in the world. While loverboy doesn’t even HAVE (actual) social media accounts for instance (IKR – am I even IN a relationship if I can’t go Facebook official). Fully invisible in all the ways that matter. I couldn’t even virtually stalk him before our first date (not that I tried, though). I’m somewhere in the middle when it comds to the privacy war.

And though the things that bother us now definitely validly bother us…it’s actually wild that they do…considering where we are coming from. It’s like we never really ‘saw’ how seen we used to be. By the government. Companies. Schools and neighbors.

I still remember my parents getting personalized mailcatalogs and offers from parties they’d never heard of. All of them with free access to mailboxes and phone numbers. I still remember in the early hotmail days how my inbox was free-for-all for all of the spam in the world. 100s of mails a week. Now most of em don’t get past the spamfilters.

We feel so much like our privacy is up for grabs, out in the open and constantly violated. Which it is. Totally.

But honestly…

That’s all just relative.

Although truthfully…I’m just really glad to have grown up only on the border of an era that sees all of our embarrassing moments, stupid phases and horrible style choices recorded, posted and going viral to haunt us forever and live on the world wide web for a lot longer still….(instead of just ending up as a single photo in a never opened album in the attic).

But in the meantime – I’ll just do my regular online detox and hope I never end up in one of those online horror stories. Fingers crossed!

24 thoughts on “Relative anonimity

  1. You really got me thinking about those phone books. With all the current conversations around data safety and privacy, it’s super weird how every house literally had our all our details, right?? But I suppose the difference was safety in numbers. The chance that a pervert would actually find us among the thousands. Also people seldom went about ringing up random people I suppose, especially since it actually cost money back then, unlike now, when we have these unlimited call and data plans. With a landline number, you would also have no guarantee on who would pick up, unlike now when you get to stalk and pester one particular person.

    I realise I’m rambling, but it really is quite interesting how these things changed over time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha – I love the rambling. Especially since it’s so true and we just conveniently forget such things in our current outrages. And though I think things do change…I also think they pretty much stay the sane alot as well. We just forget to see the similarities 🤭

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a long term love hate relationship with social media controlled mainly by my level of paranoia. I generally just read things and sometimes click like, even like clicks build a profile.
    I too cleanse unsubscribe and delete old unwanted accounts..
    Google photos daily shows photos of this time a few years ago too remind me I’m fatter bolder and generally passed my best.
    Lol rambling too

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I know what you mean here, the reality is that you can hide from the creeps to a point but in the dark realms of the powerful and the dangerous there is no privacy I fear.

    Like

  4. Hello.
    You’d think, given all the co communication options available, I’d come up with something a bit more impactful after my absence in the ether…
    the electronic ether…
    the e-ether…
    shall we call it the e-ether? Could that be a word?
    What was I saying?
    It’s gone again.
    😳

    Like

  5. Happy Mother’s Day
    Zoe not to You
    Yet Your Mother
    For Raising
    An Interesting
    Person according

    To Statistics Ya
    Got Lots More
    To Worry About
    With Number One
    Intimate Partners
    Number Two Family

    Members

    Than Even
    Strangers
    Walking
    Alone
    On
    A Dark
    City Street
    At 2 AM Yes
    Be ‘Weary’ of
    Dating Apps per
    Number One Statistical
    Area Of Concern Yet Let’s

    Face it Modern Humans Literally
    Are Assessed With The Attention
    Span These Days By Science of
    Less Than A Gold Fish Yep Three

    Seconds

    So What
    This Means
    Is Go Big if
    Ya Wanna Be
    Too Big To See
    By The Gold Fish

    Hehe Statistically
    Speaking in This Way
    It’s Not Likely You’ll
    Ever Catch up With
    me On Invisibility
    Of Too Big To

    See Yet Let’s
    Just Say

    The Crowd
    You Attract Is
    Not Likely Gonna
    Be the “Kind” to
    Stalk you online
    With The Style You Use

    B I G

    On The other
    Hand if You Were
    My 51 Year Old
    Wife In A Bikini

    The Attention
    Would Be Different
    Yet Hilarious When
    They Find Out Katie
    Mia Frederick is Close
    To 61, A Martial Artist
    Who Still Leg Presses
    Up To 1520 Pounds At
    245 Pounds Dancing Ballet
    Mixed With Martial Arts

    14,844 Miles So Much
    ‘White Male Privilege’

    Yeah It Does Make
    A Difference in

    How You Feel

    Walking On
    A Dark Street
    At 2 AM or Even

    (When Folks
    Yell Out
    Legend
    Passing
    By in Cars)

    Walking To

    Your Car Out of

    A Store At Night

    SMiles Too Many
    Other Options on
    The Internet To

    Statistically

    Worry About
    Anything More
    Than Nuisances

    Here We Are Seriously
    Grains Of Sand On The

    Beach

    With

    Every

    Grain

    Of Sand

    Just Wanting to

    Be Noticed Yawn

    If You Wanna Be Noticed
    And Even Named Legend
    And Famous And Even

    Metro

    Area

    Icon For
    Just Having
    Fun Solo

    Within
    One Year

    Go Dance
    2,000 Miles
    In Public in
    Trump Town

    USA Yet You
    Better Start

    Out

    With

    Some

    Mighty

    Thick Skin Hehe
    Other That It’s Still
    Truly Scary To Be
    A Woman in This

    World

    Statistics Don’t Lie…

    Women Deserve More

    Respect Yet Sadly

    Increasingly Males

    Have Loss Respect
    And Females For Males
    Too Most

    Every

    Where

    In A World
    Where Life is For Sale
    Glad You Found Love

    There Are So Many

    Very Lonely

    People

    Just

    Wanting

    To Feel Something
    Anything Real In

    Life
    If there
    Is Any

    Reference

    Point Left At All

    These are The Best Days
    Ever To Be A Participant
    Anthropologist Observer

    Indeed

    So Many
    ‘Indiana Jones’
    Ways Searching

    For “The Holy Grail”

    Yes i Did Archaeology

    In School Too Sad How
    Many Folks Miss ‘The

    Renaissance

    Fair’

    The Last
    One only
    5 Percent Got
    To Participate too
    With “The Ones

    Too Big To See”

    Doing

    My

    Best

    To “Spread

    That Live” HAha 😜

    Yawn What Else are Ya Gonna
    Do After You’ve Been Named
    Legend, Financially Independent,
    Still Married To The Fairest

    Of

    Them

    All Hot
    As Ever
    At 51

    When

    You Are Pushing

    61 Since 6.6.60 Devil
    Prey Tale Yes Remember
    How You Were The
    Kid Who Couldn’t
    Speak
    Until 4
    And Spit On

    By Christian

    Children

    For Smiling

    And Called

    An Ugly

    Girl

    Who Was A Boy

    It’s So Satisfying to
    Free Style Dance Ballet in
    Front of Minions Indeed

    In A RaMPaGE
    Dancing Spree
    In Florida A
    State Shaped

    Like A Revolver

    Fully Loaded

    With Dance

    And Free

    Verse

    Poetry

    In The

    Barrel
    Of The
    Panhandle
    In “Matt Gaetz”

    Land Trump And
    ‘DeSatanis’ Too
    Payback

    Is When

    You

    Are in

    Heaven
    And The Folks
    Still in Hell Won’t
    Take ‘The Gift’ Now When

    (Moving Meditation
    Nirvana Yes Real
    Science Assessed
    Fountain Of
    Regenerating
    Youth in
    Heaven
    Of Autotelic Flow)

    You Give it Away Every
    Day Something About
    Returning And Everyone
    Always Facing Their

    Own

    Karma

    Now Yawn

    Just Another

    “A Day

    In The Life”

    Attempting

    To Turn on

    Some Light “IT”

    Might Be Funny
    For “Them” Ironically
    If “The Story” Wasn’t True.. 🎥

    Like

  6. One good thing about being older is that you don’t get stalked so much. Even though it looks like I have too many contacts, I know each of them, and weed out the icky people occasionally, too. I’ve learned so much from my friends around the world that I consider it worthwhile to take the risk. People are fascinating! For example, I’d love to be your Facebook friend, because you are interesting and thoughtful. And I put my real name on my account. So far, no issues.

    Like

  7. As a member of Gen X I not only remember phone books, I remember when phone booths (in the U.S.) had a copy. Literally anyone could look up a name and address. The kicker? There is way more data out there now then ever before because people put it out there. If you chose to use Facebook (as an example) you are agreeing to give access to one of the largest corporations in the world into whatever you post. That includes intimate details. I use a VPN, dont have a facebook or a linkedin.

    “but how do you promote your online content Karac” and that’s the trick isnt it? Most of us are consumers of content here, some of us creator and its a hard call as to how much you put out there. You share more? You grow more. You grow more? You attract more people, all sorts.

    I wish I had a great answer in the digitial world, I demand my kids use VPN’s but they are all over the place, instagram, Discord shit I dont know about. Its dangerous, predators are everywhere. I suppose on the whole things are very safe now but I worry alot about my daughter. You take care Zoewie, nice post today.

    Like

  8. This is such a great post and hits close to home. I had a blog in the early-2010s and made the mistake of including my full name and pictures… so many creeps! When I met my boyfriend in 2013, he showed me how easy is was to find out every little thing about me and I promptly deleted my online presence. He scared the shit outta me!! I sometimes miss the days of the bulky phone books…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi there I just want you to know your thoughts are valid and true. I no longer visit Facebook nor do I have an active account. I was tired of reading so many political hate based post. I am grateful for my freedom of speech so I realized that if people I knew thought so differently than I, it was their right. Solution- get off Facebook. WordPress gives me a venue of people that I care about, pray for and love. I have been able to write my poetry/stories etc. and read so many talented peoples work. I too do not want anyone stalking me and I am grateful I have never had that problem. I certainly don’t think it hurts to be careful my friend. Enjoy your freedom of speech my friend and do what you need to do to feel safe. That is one of the few things we all need to be happy. Wishing you well and blessings to you. Love ❤️ and hugs 🤗 Joni

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Trust me I have been so much happier since leaving. You can keep all the information on your account but make it inactive. That is what I did ages ago. I went to an interview once and I wondered why the CEO was in the interview. When she jumped in almost immediately she wanted to know what I though of Former Secretary of the State, Hillary Clinton. Then she started asking other questions. I immediately knew she saw the pictures of my daughter on line with Hillary Clinton. I told her I was flattered by her comment but those pictures were of my daughter not me. Oddly enough the interview ended rather abruptly. She thought I had some pull which I don’t. Anyway that was a wake up call for me. I bet you would enjoy taking at least a break from Facebook. Love to you Zoe. ❤️❤️❤️Joni

        Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s all down to the internet…which makes all the information much more searchable and therefore useful. And decreasing trust in governments (not least because of the surveillance revelations), decentralisation of control and power with tech companies and individuals having more of it.

    And as time goes by the scammers become more sophisticated in making use of the internet and digital information.

    It’s the correlation of various small pieces of data about a person, which is made possible by machines, which really creates the privacy dangers. If all you have is a phone book of names/addresses/numbers, you have no specific motive to contact any of them except for cold-call scamming. But if you have images and social connections too that makes everyone much more targetable, by various nefarious people!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Zoe you seem to have put in a lot out there, things that really matter to a lot of us. That said, if a person is busy with their own life having time or putting in efforts into prying into someone else’s life just because a person wants to is a not-so-cool thing to do. There is this thing of knowing where to draw the line. I do remember the telephone book days and how things were different in a way.

    Liked by 2 people

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