I spend a lot of time online. I’m online at work. I come home and get online for at least an hour, usually more. I’m online for at least some portion of the weekend.
What do I do online? Research whatever I am interested in. Keep in touch with friends. Find out about local events. Watch videos of people beat boxing while playing the flute. Social experiments like Crazy Blind Dates (thanks to Sarah’s blog postings). Collect domain names. Also, I’ve just gotten into videoblogging and am procrastinating working on a web page for KinkyCuisine.
Googling my name, I knew I already had an online presence through school and video involvement. I knew people could easily find me on social networking sites. I knew that privacy was limited on the internet but did not know to what extent until I met Tristan.
Tristan took a photo of me at Folsom. I found it on Flickr and contacted him about it. We ended up chatting on GTalk and still do. I knew I had personal information on the web but when he emailed me a picture of my house, my whole perspective changed.
Honestly, thanks to the support of this panic stricken society and my tendencies to worst-case-scenarioize, I was a little freaked out by a man I didn’t know researching me on the internet and finding out my address. Now I’ve gotten to know him better and trust he has no ill intent. He really just helped me realize that privacy is an illusion.
I was already having problems with social networking sites like MySpace. It seemed that people feel entitled to intimacy with me just because they had access to my profile. Sitting on my friend list for 2 years on myspace and reading my blog or bulletins cannot achieve the same kind of intimacy as having a conversation with me (online or off).
I’m an exhibitionist and I like to expose my vulnerabilities because it makes me feel stronger, in control. Thats why its hard for me to stay in the closet about many things. I’d say I’m still in the closet about some things to some people, but I realize that my closets have glass doors, thanks to the internet.
The internet holds a representation of you, why not contribute to that?