Ever notice all these websites out there, made for people to communicate, while at the same time keeping them from actually meeting face to face.
Well, I have recently joined facebook, I know I am probably the last person on this planet to do so, but I was a little preoccupied with the German version, WKW. A nice thing, since I cannot actually meet with these guys face to face, a little mass of water and the lack of money to actually fly there whenever I feel like seeing friends and family (which is rather often lately) keeps me from doing so. So this little cyber cafe actually made sense to me, long lost school mates, friends I haven’t seen in a very long time pop up out of nowhere, the miracle of the internet.
However … I do have a few fears… I guess watching the news and living in a place where you wonder every day “what the h… are people thinking?” makes you a bit paranoid.
I have huge problems posting photos online, especially of my family or my house. I do not like being a “gläserner Mensch” (glass person), out in the open for everyone to see. If I would go to the cafe down the street I would not walk around with a poster board around my neck with my email address, physical address, pictures of my family, friends and pets and everything you ever wanted to know about me, would I?
So why do people feel so free online?
Picture this, a halfway savvy cyber person spends a few hours online and stumbles upon you picture on one of these websites, there he finds where you live, not hard since most people join a local group. He also finds out, looking at your beautiful photos of your backyard, with a breathtaking view of the mountains (that is why you posted it, to show off your photography skills and to brag about your house), where approximately your house is located within the city. Then he reads on…. you have a hobby, whatever it is, another clue to where to find you, is it reading? You might have mentioned a book club? Is it dogs, you might have mentioned a dog park? A favorite restaurant? You have posted some photos of your children, he knows how old they are, since most people date their pictures, knows what school district you belong to, checks the schools in the area…
You get my drift, it is so easy to open the door to things like this. While we are concerned about our teenage daughters falling for predators online we leave the backdoor wide open.