All posts tagged: Privacy

10 Things I’ll Never Post on Facebook

(Photos Clockwise: Popsugar.com, espressoDOM/flickr.com, bcmd/flickr.com, official logo, Facebook.com) I post frequently on social media, particularly Facebook. I wouldn’t classify myself as an oversharer, but I will post up to five times a day if I think something is worth sharing. Is it funny? Is it interesting? Is it somehow otherwise significant? Like many proud parents, I posted WAY too many photos of my kids at first. But I quickly realized that those posts were only interesting to about one percent of my friends. And I never get too personal about what I really think and feel — it’s really a false intimacy Facebook seems to foster. As a result of plenty of trial and error, I now have very clear guidelines for what I will or will not post. Here’s a short list: 1. Coded Jabs: I will not post anything about personal relationships, either overtly or in code. That violates a trust. “Don’t you just hate it when people [insert friend or family name here — and you know who you are] don’t send thank-you …

Do Not Disturb (My Recovery)

It’s been six months since I last wrote a post for Bottles Down. I didn’t make a conscious plan to take a break. I didn’t stop because I feared I had revealed information too personal (that ship sailed back in 2011) or because I was bothered by the attention I received. In fact, I felt the exact opposite — the feedback I got was nothing short of astounding; never in my life had I felt such a consistent wash of concern, encouragement and hope as a result of something that I wrote. And even the criticisms were valuable — it’s important for me to be reminded that I can follow my heart and take risks, and that I won’t shatter if someone disagrees with me. Despite all of those positives, however, new ideas for this column would not come. Weeks passed, I had nothing. I attributed my dry well to severe writer’s block, something I’m STILL struggling with today (if I’m honest, even writing this post is painstaking). I’d never really understood the concept of …

In an Emergency, Maybe We Don’t Want Our Privacy?

(Photo: Margit Detweiler/TueNight) Two weeks ago on a Sunday night, riding the subway home in New York, I saw a man have a seizure on the 2 train. I was in the carriage with him. I helped, a little. Others helped even more. He had slumped sideways, shaking with massive jerks, making audible thuds as his skull smacked the seat. One of the women sitting nearest him saw the moment of our terror, even disengagement. “We need to lift him.” In a rattling train, with his limbs flailing, we moved him from a seat onto the carriage floor. Then we helped to sit and comfort him for the 25 minutes it took for paramedics to reach him. He said his name was Junior, and beyond that was completely anonymous. He had bitten his tongue. * * * Ever hear the one about the man who watched people stepping over a dead guy who just lay there on the sidewalk? Or the woman who fell down a storm grate and waited for help as walkers passed …

Don’t Stand So Close to Me. Especially at the Grocery Store

(Photo: Flickr.com; Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/ TueNight.com) I love my personal space. At the same time, I also try to remember that I’m on the planet as one person among many, many other people. I try to help where I can and leave others in peace to be themselves — to “do them,” as it were. Until they’re behind me in the grocery line. Apparently, I have some deeply held beliefs about how much space I can expect to have to for myself, and about how little is too little. If I see you in a yoga studio without your mat space clearly marked on the floor, I will show you exactly what I mean. I’m not bragging about this predisposition. I’m not excited about anything that makes me feel intolerant of other people and their pushy, all-up-on-me ways. I can concede that it’s not them, it’s me. Kinda. Sting and I are on the same lyrical page with at least one thing. Don’t stand so FREAKING CLOSE to me. I don’t hate people, I swear. …

Hiding In Plain Sight: Why Obscurity Matters More Than Privacy

Is it possible for anything to be private in the Social Age? The Information Age brought us 24-hour news sources, online forums, the Information Superhighway, Web 2.0 and more social media sites than we could even begin to remember. We were told we could now access more info than we would ever want or need. It was out there in pixels and bytes, ours for the searching. The start of this age is sort of a moving target, but was sparked by the Digital Revolution of the late 1950s to late 1970s. Now we’ve entered into the Social Age — and since I’m sort of making that up, I’m going to peg the start to 1997-2001, with the rise of Six Degrees and Friendster. Information is still out there, but there’s gobs of it. There’s so much of it that sometimes it’s hard to tell if what we’re reading is even true. We depend heavily on our social networks — both online and off — to help us make sense of all of that information. …

Margit’s Note: Private Eyes, They’re Watching You

(Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com) Some of the best stories reveal an author’s most private moments. A love affair, a devastating ordeal, a sliver of a feeling about the world. Those things we might keep hush hush, but the author is willing to reveal — and when they do, we all nod in agreement. That’s great storytelling. Personally, when my words are cloaked (and controlled) in prose, sharing is just fine — but when it comes to social media, hell, I overthink every single vacation snap. Of course, some of us take those private moments and broadcast them, no holds barred, in seven social feeds, sharing every blink our babies made, or every crock pot concoction we’ve ever conceived. Privacy is in the eye of the beholder and, as a generation who got “social” later in life, we don’t often agree when it is ok to reveal. This week we’re wondering:  Where do we draw the line? What Jennifer Ha won’t share on Facebook. Why Susan Linney is becoming more private in recovery. Laurie White says “step back” at the grocery store. Amy Vernon blurs the image. …

How an Unimaginably Nasty Online Comment Haunted Me for 13 Years

I am very, very easy to Google. On one hand, this is great for the ego; because of my unusual name, I’m the only me on Earth! But there’s a downside, too, which is quite plainly that I’m very, very easy to Google. I often envy the anonymity of the commonplace name. When Apple executive Tim Cook was elevated to CEO, my college pal with the same name receded into the vanishing point of the internet. Lucky bastard. For people like me, a semi-annual check of the results of a Google search of my name is a prudent, if not necessary, task. Some database glitch could attach “Cheryl Botchick” to a story worthy of @_FloridaMan, and there it would be for all my colleagues, clients and potential employers to see. Best to head these things off at the pass. Having spent the ‘90s as a writer for a popular music magazine, there’s generally quite a bit to go through: reposts of features, one-on-one interviews, album reviews, music industry mentions and the like. It’s a housekeeping …

What I Learned From My Stalker

(Graphic: Kat Borosky/TueNight.com) I may have the word “open” tattooed on my back, but I consider myself overly cautious. By nature of being a sex writer, many people think I’ve offered myself up for explicit, inappropriate conversations, and that’s forced me to keep my guard up. Normally, I don’t answer my phone unless I know who’s calling. I vet strangers I’m meeting extensively online beforehand. On a recent flight, I even took my laptop to the bathroom rather than leave it unprotected in the seat back compartment. My caution is what stopped me from contacting a man I met on my flight to Dubai after I let him borrow my phone charger; I didn’t want to give him the wrong impression. I was excited about this trip to Dubai, and announced it on my blog, Twitter and Facebook in case friends had recommendations or knew people there. The primary purpose of my trip was to find the world’s first and only Hello Kitty Spa, which had recently opened (yes, I was 36 going on 13, …