Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006
The Private Print Dilemma
I read a note on my friend WildRosie's diary tonight and it reiterated the reason I lock search engines out of here. And reminded me why sometimes that isn't enough.
We occasionally forget, when we post here, that these pages are open to the world in general. All they need is a link in an email, a friend of a friend of somebody who knows somebody, and anyone can read all of your personal information.
Me? I've got nothing to hide, at least nothing worth anyone causing trouble. I am frequently opinionated when it comes to my political views and I otherwise take a live-and-let-live view of the world, and I still don't want to be found on a search engine because frankly, again, this is my PERSONAL SITE. That means 1) I have the freedom to really express pretty much whatever I want to express and 2) I have the freedom to tell the people I consider friends but not to share with the whole world.
Except when these pages are public (i.e., not specifically made private,) they are indeed available to the whole world.
That's kind of like telling a huge secret on television and then realizing, "Oh shit... I didn't want anyone else to know!"
I know I have readers here who elect to be silent. I have others I've spoken to, either in person or on the phone or both. Some readers here are those who keep online diaries and post similarly incriminating information, so I pretty much don't worry about you, because I can getcha as much as you can get me. ;)
There are a small handful of my "lurker" readers I know even though they really don't post - one or three I know from other sites and at least one I've met in person (*waves to Poolagirl's sis!*)
But I am a bit flummoxed at the fact that my diary is listed as a favorite on something like seventy diarists' sites, the vast majority of whom never post any kind of feedback. I get hits daily from thirty or forty different IP addresses. This despite the fact I have never run banners or promote in any way, except by leaving feedback to the other folks whose diaries I read.
I don't object to the folks who read my diary who make themselves known, most of whom share their lives with equal freedom, and most of the time it doesn't bother me when I see a new name on the list. But I became a bit disturbed when I recently saw a particular new name added to those who list me as a favorite, but that person has a blank diary and didn't reply to an email from me. Given that I've had a few close encounters with stalkers, I am paranoid and I like it that way. It was the name that individual chose that threw me - it struck me as a reason to worry, and still does.
It's flattering to think anyone would be interested in my life, which I figure is about as fascinating as watching the grass grow. And I know very well that most of the folks who read but don't comment are simply shy about putting themselves out there, and that's fine, too.
See, paranoia has its place - like when it reminds me to be on guard. It saved me a heck of a lot of grief a little over a year ago, back when I was dealing with T. I got hurt, but I got hurt less because I took his barrage of excuses with a hefty dose of skepticism.
Now, I look at MC and just say, "Thank GOD I didn't get stuck with T!!!"
But I guess it was time for another reminder, because in a phone call today with another Diaryland friend, I was warned to be careful about what I post, and to go back and remove any references to XXX - because you never really know who's watching. Fortunately I never posted anything here about XXX (this is obviously somebody who knows me pretty well.) Still, I wonder...
I have other options than Diaryland that would permit me more privacy, but I frankly like this site. And I do have a couple of other private diaries, though I don't post in either very often. This has become my online home, with an online family of dear friends I'd never have met otherwise. Just the same, I'll be glad when I re-up my paid membership and can periodically post a private entry.
Just in case.
Edit: I am revising the spec site for pain-in-the-ass client AGAIN. MC is telling me to tell the guy to f--- off. I'm tempted. However, MC also suggested that on this version of the flash banner (which has been his focus) I put in a movie clapboard that says, "(Pain-in-the-ass-client)'s Banner, Take 1,254,279."
And I just might do it, too, hehehe.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )