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Emails and Texts and Twitter, oh my!

June 10, 2011

The personal emails of Sarah Palin are being released today without her consent. Though I’m not a Palin fan, can you imagine how you would feel if your emails went public? This week a teenager in Germany posted a Sweet Sixteen invite on Facebook to what she thought was just her friends, but somehow went to everyone, and over a thousand people showed up at her house. Then there’s the picture of Anthony Weiner’s wiener that went public even though he only intended it to be seen by one woman.

These are just a few examples of the loss of control we are having on our own privacy, and often, the only ones to blame are ourselves. There is still this sense of security in thinking that the words and pictures we post and share are only going to be seen within our circle. But stop for a moment and think about the last ten emails or texts you sent and how you would feel if any of them were seen by the world. Scary.

I myself am not immune from Internet mishaps. Though nowhere as high on the scale as recent news stories, it was enough to keep me weary of Facebook. The first time I ever went on I sent what I thought was a message to one friend that was actually posted on my wall. It wasn’t bad or lewd or anything, but it was personal enough to keep me from signing back on for months. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s done that.

This week I received an invitation from a colleague on LinkedIn. After hitting Accept, it prompted me for my personal info. Since I was doing about six other things, I wasn’t focusing entirely on the LinkedIn site, just hitting okay through several prompts. I do remember thinking “I don’t want to send invites to my entire address book” but somehow it wasn’t enough to get me to stop multitasking. Only when my inbox started to blow up with almost two hundred “Congratulations! Joe Schmo accepts your invitation to LinkedIn” emails did I start to pay attention. It’s not that I didn’t want to be connected to them (okay, maybe a few of them), but for a moment I had a panicky feeling that I revealed something I shouldn’t have.  I’m chalking it up as a little warning for the future.

Do you have an Internet mishap story you’d like to share?

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4 Comments
  1. Ariel permalink

    Keep it simple!
    Use only emails and keep those emails safe from the eyes of others.
    If I had important information to keep away from others I would crypt it. CRYPT EVERYTHING!

  2. Brad Haschka permalink

    About a month ago I went to register for LinkedIn I thought it was something like Facebook. When I got to the second page it asked a number of questions about employment I stopped since I was not sure why I had to enter this information. Later that day after talking to a few of my coworkers they told me it was more for professional people which I am not. They said to me that they where surprised that I was registering for something that I did not really understand since usually I am pretty careful. Well I learned my lesson but I am not sure if I am still on LinkedIn. I received two e-mails that day then no more. Thanks Felice for bringing up this subject. It is a good feeling to let other people know to be careful about what you register for.

  3. Leah permalink

    Thanks for sharing. As my mom always told me, it`s best not to get involved with the internet. She started saying that in 1994-95 when the internet was just gaining popularity. And she ended up being right! These examples you mentioned serve as a grim reminder that technology is not all that! Especially when the lines of privacy blur. I don`t have any specific stories to tell but I will just say that I`ve witnessed too much non-sense going on online among friends and others and I don`t get why people act the way they do. Grown folks acting like crazy kids with behavioral problems is how a lot of people act these days online. It`s sad. And facebook can get a lot of people in trouble if they are not careful. I have to remind myself to be mindful of what I`m posting and that anyone can access it if they have the right tools.

    • Leah, I agree with you about how grown ups act on Facebook, as well when I post anything, I’m apprehensive about putting it out for the world to see. The word SEND has become one very scary word…

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