English thoughts

Online life

It’s been few years now since I first had the vivid understanding of what internet really means in my life. I’m talking here about the bad side of the gift: easy traceable, less intimacy, more vulnerability. Forever!

You might say I am over reacting here, but I strongly feel there’s more to it than I can see. So I am kind of “under reacting”…

Somehow lately the subject appeared strongly to my attention through various articles, debates, reportages and movies. This time I had the IT expert part of the family next to me. This time we both reacted to the wake-up call. It’s quite frightening when you think how easy it is for someone with a little computer expertize find out everything about you and your family! And we make their jobs easier by putting it all out there, on a tray.

So I am now into a reacting phase. Starting point: Facebook! Deleting personal information (all of it!), deleting pictures and limiting my activity as much as possible, staying logged-in as little as possible. I am not strong enough to delete my account, considering that it’s one of the easiest ways of keeping up-to-date with my faraway friends. Plus that I’m posting my articles there… But it’s work in progress and I hope to reintroduce hand written letters, emails, phone calls and coffees as ways of keeping in touch; my blog can be also read directly from the blog’s page.

When doing a serious search, there are a lot of useful applications designed to help us protect our identity online as much as possible. It’s not easy to find the right ones when you are not speaking the language, but there is always a friend around who can help.

Funny thing when Facebook is out of the picture: I have a lot of time on my hands! Reading, keeping a journal, drawing, doing some French exercises….they feel much better than keeping my eyes glued to the screen of the laptop and reacting to every little number prompted in the upper right corner of the screen. And I am starting to write more and more mails to my friends…

I’m not saying there is no utility in having a Facebook profile (I am keeping mine active because of that), but at least we can pay a cheaper price for using the network. They say internet is free but, in reality, is costing us a great deal: our privacy!

So, the next time you consider uploading a picture of your naked sweet baby or the last restaurant you’ve visited, ask yourself: do I really want a potential criminal know all these details? Can my friends really not live without knowing what I ate for lunch? Can I really not send the pictures of my family per mail only to the persons regarded?

Use it wise, people!

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