I love my followers. By engaging with so many, I feel I know some well enough to crash on their couch as I travel the world. Social media has brought the world closer together and with the internet, no one ever has to be alone… or can be alone.
The medium of the internet is, in reality, unforgiving about encroaching on your life, and turning off your computer or mobile device won’t save you.
How to Be Anonymous on the Internet
Big Brother IS Watching You!
While you sleep, while you shower, while you try to hide, the internet is still watching you. It has an out-of-control need for information and keeps checking up on you and it’s ready and willing to give out that information to anyone.
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Normally, I accept this fact of our digital age and use nicknames all over the place. My oldest son came home from school one day, upset that some obnoxious kid said he would search for an “embarrassing picture” of me to show all the other kids in the class. I laughed because this kid would find nothing under my real name and sure enough, he didn’t but it was easy to find photos of his father and mother. Heh-heh!
It makes you wonder how dangerous is the internet for your privacy? I’m not going to get into the whole thing about privacy issues because it’s not an issue anymore… there is no privacy!
Follow… But Not Too Close
My big shock came a few weeks ago when I started receiving emails informing me that this and that person was following me on Disqus. My first thought was, “why?”
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Who would be interested in the comments I leave on websites that use Disqus for comments? Facebook was doing the same thing and commenting on any Yahoo article is social suicide.
While I learned to not get into flame wars with people long ago, my snarky answers here and there, along with what I’d like to think are well thought-out comments on political and religious articles I’ve read, have their detractors, as well as fans but I don’t want other people to see that side of me. That’s why I’ve stopped commenting on certain subjects. I call it “protecting my brand,” which, of course, is me.
Clients, being people, all have their own opinions and if they see my opinions don’t match theirs, then they won’t want to work with me. And what of the future? While I doubt I have a future in politics, will there be images, written passages or people out there ready to spill the beans on my past? I may not be the worst human being around but I have my sins.
Hopefully, by using nicknames given to me throughout my life, perhaps that will save me from digital disaster. The notices from Disqus have been a wakeup call — keep a low profile, protect my brand and who cares what I think, so don’t comment on anything!
Learn to Hide
Dorothy Parker once said, “I don’t care what they write about me as long as it isn’t true.”
Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying “biography lends to death a new terror.”
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It’s not like you have to become a secret agent, although James Bond went around TELLING everyone he was James Bond. Follow these easy, handy tips for keeping a low profile on the internet:
- Never use the same name more than once when posting anything.
- Don’t friend anyone on Facebook. People from your past can only destroy you.
- You should list your true career on LinkedIn but lie about everything else. Never list a company that you actually worked for. Large corporations are so confused, you can say you’re a vice president at Disney and their HR department will acknowledge it.
- Never comment on anything. Don’t even wish a Facebook friend a “happy birthday” because that can be turned against you!
- Every photo you post is another bullet in the gun pointed at you, held by a perturbed, survivalist, Tea Party member.
- Forget Twitter followers and use hashtags. Hashtags require no expectations, no commitments and no expectations for further interesting tweets.
- Snapchat posts never really disappear. They go into a large depository buried deep in a mountain in Switzerland (next to the seeds for all Earth plants and the real Mona Lisa), filed with your name for future use. Of course, anyone with whom you share your post can just take a screen grab and save it.
- Don’t allow yourself to be photographed by other people. With every mobile device now having a 183 mega pixel camera, it’s important to keep an eye out for people snapping a shot of you drinking, smoking or generally having a good time. They take the shot and upload it to the internet and it is there forever!
- Never email family members or close loved ones. If you do THEY have a record of who could be used against you, if need be.
- Never post in a language foreign to your own (not even “ciao”) or a government agency will take interest in WHY you’re doing that.
- Using the <3 symbols on Facebook marks that person for death.
- They say that “when the legend becomes the fact, print the legend.” Use that to create a dream life for the digital forum. Create the perfect you and don’t hesitate using a photo you get when you buy a frame or new wallet as your avatar. Everyone does it on match.com, so why shouldn’t you?
- Don’t change your email password every six months — change your email! After six months, you’ll be getting more spam and people trying to convince you that you opted-in by once visiting their website than you can unsubscribe from in six months of concerted effort, so just start over and save time and effort.
- If you see someone coming towards you, wearing Google Glass, hit them over the head with a banjo, quickly!
- There’s no such thing as being “too” paranoid when it comes to the internet or public toilets!
Let me sum this all up before the medication wears off any further. The marvel of our age, like the forests and oceans and air have been totally polluted by humans. Hate sites, false information and 1,200,000 or so “learn to blog” websites have brought evil to the tool that I thought brought us closer together and allowed us to learn more about each other.
In a way that’s still true. We DID learn more about each other — TOO MUCH! We are all now closer together — to be locked up in camps by the reigning star chamber of the Rothchilds, Ronald McDonald, Disney’s reanimated head and the Illuminati. Anyway, that’s what I read on the internet.