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As I See It

The Invasion Of Privacy

Yesterday, privacy issues became a topic of conversation with my daughter, Emily.   Being a mom of a 15 year old daughter,  she has become concerned about privacy issues in relationship to cell phones, and the Internet.

The respect for privacy  I grew up with, may be a thing of the past for my children and grandchildren.   I come from the old school of… “It’s none of your business.”  However, aside from the fact that banks, government, and companies increasingly invade my privacy,  sometimes  I  inadvertently invite  people into my life by the way of the Internet,  unsolicited phone calls, and my cell phone that should not have my private information.

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Recent events,  of the past few weeks,  has brought the subject of individual privacy to the forefront of my concern.   Here are a few of the events that have fueled my unease.

In a town near by… a young high school gal sent a intimate photo of herself to her boy friend by way off her cell phone.  Shortly after the romance broke up… the boy friend published the photo over the Internet.  Upon arriving at school one day… she was greeted with cheers and jeers by fellow students…  who had also received the same photo on their phones.  Very embarrassing.

Recently, Facebook announced that they own all the information in Facebook and can do anything they want with the particulars.   I joined a business forum several months ago… and was recently informed that the monitor,  or owner of the forum,  owns all of the information and can use any of the details as he wishes.  So, if you chat on a forum… your  conversations  can be used for other purposes.

If you apply for a job, it is now a customary procedure to look up your name on the Internet.  Your blog, Facebook account, My Space account etc. can be scrutinized to see if there is anything that may be embarrassing to the company if you were to be hired.

Now… I’m not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water.  I love my cell phone and Internet.  The point I want to make is… “I Need To Be Careful With What I Say and Do.”   If I don’t want the world to know… “I Shouldn’t Say It Or Do It.”

We’ve all made unthinking,  foolish mistakes.  I’ve made plenty of them… especially in my youth.   However… not to many years ago…  the edge of the cliff seem to be further away.  We all live closer to the edge  now days… and falling off can be quicker and the consequences more dangerous and sometimes deadly.   My concern for myself, my children and grandchildren is on high alert and awareness.

Individual privacy rights may be a thing of the past.  However,  there are a few things you can do to protect yourself a bit from the world knowing everything about you.

Have you ever googled your own name?  You may be surprised to see what the world can observe about you.  I have registered for Google Alert.  When my name or Insightful Nana is used anywhere on the net… I’m alerted.  This is something you may want to investigate.

Obviously… visit with your teens about the dangers of giving out or sending unhealthy information by way of the Internet,  texting and cell phones that could be used against them at some future time.   They should also avoid allowing friends to randomly take photos of them on their cell phones without knowing the purpose of those photos.

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Be very careful about the information you give over the phone.  I personally do not give to charitable organizations over the phone anymore.  And, giving any personal information to someone I don’t know and trust… is certainly a thing of the past.

Be aware that every time you click onto a Internet site… you leave a computer trail.  Like an old fashion paper trail, what you view on the net,  can be traced.   What you look at or don’t look at  is as important as what you say or do.

We have to face it… computer privacy does not exist anymore.  Someone is always watching.  The only thing we can do is not feed information to the net…. by way of computer or phone… we  don’t want others to  know about.

I’m posting a video for you to watch.  I love this  young mans creativity.   But… what I want you to observe is….  that he collected all of his data from Internet Blogs… and to what detail he can see into our souls.    Yes.. yes… someone one is watching.

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Technology is wonderful and I love living during this day and age.  However,  there is still apart of me that longs for the old days when privacy matters were kept  private.  I still lean toward the “None Of Your Business” days… when  it counted for something.   Sigh.

Categories
As I See It

Cell Phones & Text Messages Aren’t For Real

Yesterday, my cell phone went South. I just purchased my phone two months ago… and it froze while I was calling a number. Yikes! I immediately ran to the Verizon Store for assistance. By the time I got there… the phone battery was dead. They thought it might be the fact that I needed to update the software… so, I left it there for an hour while Verizon did the job.

Upon my arrival back to the Verizon Store, I discovered that my phone was a dud (something that occasionally happens) and they replaced the phone… no questions asked. I love that kind of service.

However, getting the new phone took a bit of time… (like an hour.) While they packaged up the old phone and did their thing on the computer, it gave me plenty of time to sit, and watch people. Very interesting.

The Verizon store was very busy and their little sitting area was pack with customers waiting for various services to be completed. Those folks without phones were milling about looking at new phones and visiting with each other. I watched a couple of total strangers strike up a conversation about BYU football. Another gal commented on a cute baby that a new mom was holding. In a minute they were sharing baby experiences.

On the other hand… those who still had their phone in their hands were texting, or talking to someone on their cell, even though they were just a foot or two away from another person. There were two guys, who apparently had come in together but, they spoke very few words to each other because both were busy text messaging someone else.

All this reminded me of an article I read in a magazine a few month ago, warning parents of the dangers of technology dependence. It warned parents of the growing number of young people, who lack the ability to communication one on one, face to face…due to Internet Social forums and text chats. It warned of virtual relationships…(virtual means: almost or simulation of the real thing.)

It’s easy to hide behind a computer or phone and have an “almost relationship.” If your relationship is “almost,” you don’t have to take much responsibility to keep the relationship alive… or real… just turn off the computer or hang up the phone of you don’t like what’s going on.

Now, I not ready to give up the internet, nor my phone. They’ve been a blessing in my life. (I don’t do the text thing. It seems like waste of time for me because my fingers don’t move fast enough to make it worth my time.)

However, I can certainly take a look at my own real relationships. I ask myself… Do I miss the opportunity to really get to know someone standing next to me in line at the bank because I’m chatting to my daughter on my phone? Do I spend too much time on line with virtual relationships when I could be developing new face to face friendships?

This is certainly not just a issue for the youth… but for tech minded adults too.

Lots of food for thought.

Till later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I have met lots of nice folks on line… which really makes me want to meet them in person. The virtual thing just isn’t enough. There is something to be said for face to face relationships for sure.