19th 2010
Now do you believe me?

Posted under: technoskepticism, unhappy endings

I hate–I mean–I love to say “I told you so!”  Online privacy and discretion:  it’s not just for the teenagers and young adults whom we love to lecture about this.  And you don’t even have to be in confessional mode to give up a lot of intel to teh fB, as it turns out!

Yes, I know:  I have a blog, so what the heck am I doing standing up for privacy and discretion on the world wide non-peer reviewed intertubes?  Well, those of you who know me in real life understand that this blog represents only a highly selective part of my personal life, and is mostly about my professional identity.  Those of you who don’t know me in RL–well, let’s just say you’re not missing much, but you’re missing enough for me not to wonder if I’ve overshared here.  And that’s the way it’s got to be for me, anyway.

Dear readers, you can be assured that this blog will remain non-monetized and completely commercial and advertising free.  I know you’re probably surprised that I’m not tempted to cash in big on “History and Sexual Politics, 1492-present,” but no matter how insanely lucrative it might be, I only work for you, and I will never sell or share your e-mail or IP addresses.  (“Message:  I care.”

I keep getting offers to guest blog here and co-blog there, but I like minding my own ranch and prefer mucking out my own stalls.  (That way, I know who’s responsible for the horse$hit!)


16 Responses to “Now do you believe me?”

  1. Janice on 19 Oct 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Yes, the myth that you can have any sort of security with your online services? A sad one.

    I’m on FB but mostly so that friends and family who only socialize online there can see me. I’ve always been sanguine that FB is a leaky sieve of a site, selling access to our identities. Still, I can’t believe that some people will let FB login to their email accounts to “help you find more friends.”

    Bah. Bad enough that you’ve given them the road map to your ranch. You certainly shouldn’t give them the keys to your homestead as well!

  2. Historiann on 19 Oct 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Janice–I think fB is best used as though it were a blog, as as though the users were creating online personas rather than limning detailed portraits of themselves. (I know some bloggers are on fB as their blog selves, which seems reasonable.)

    Just stay away from those games, friends! If you want to play “farm,” saddle up, ride on out here, and pick up a shovel. . .

  3. Dr. Crazy on 19 Oct 2010 at 9:07 am #

    For what it’s worth, for me, Fb is a much less fully drawn portrait than the one on the blog, because I have so many different audiences reading me there. Family + friends from every stage of life + distant colleagues + former students = all you really hear about is what I made for dinner, what my cats are doing to annoy me, and what I need to work on today. While the blog is definitely a limited version of the total package that is me, I think it’s a heck of a lot more interesting than Fb me. :)

  4. GayProf on 19 Oct 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I was just thinking again this morning that I really don’t “get” fb.

  5. NTBW on 19 Oct 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Further confirmation that I made the right decision in not “doing” Facebook at all. Not on it. Not gonna be on it, no matter how many people harangue me. Not only is it never really private, but I would waste way too much time. Plus, I think people’s talking about themselves in the third person and obsessively telling people what they are doing at any and every particular minute is creepy in the extreme.

  6. Perpetua on 19 Oct 2010 at 9:50 am #

    I’m on FB and I really like it, because it helps me stay in touch with friends in far distant places. While I was a bit sloppy at first at “allowing” friends & taking a quiz or two, now I’m pretty strict (as well as with all my privacy settings). While I’m careful not to write anything that I wouldn’t want the world to see, I still don’t want the world to see it (because I’m obsessively private, not because I say anything shameful). Mostly, I talk about my kids, food, and other random minutiae. I like hearing such details about my friends’ lives because the people I “friend” on FB are my actual friends, rather than people I don’t know; therefore knowing what they’re doing makes me feel closer to them when we live thousands of miles apart. I do not “friend” colleagues (even ones at different unis), students, or relatives. But all the security business makes me more and more uneasy. It’s true what you say about approaching FB like an online persona. FB reflects one of my voices, not the complete me.

  7. Grad Student on 19 Oct 2010 at 9:59 am #

    GayProf–So with you on that. I have never had a FB profile, both because I do not trust it with my data and because I just do not get it. FB and Twitter. They just do not make any sense to me whatsoever.

    As far as I can tell, the only downside has been that I do not get invited to departmental functions if my colleagues cannot just include me on a FB invite.

  8. quixote on 19 Oct 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Grad Student: not getting invited to departmental functions. That’s a downside?

    I’ve never “gotten” fb or twit either. In what universe could I possibly care what someone had for breakfast?

  9. Nicole on 19 Oct 2010 at 10:39 am #

    What is this the face book of which you speak?

  10. Indyanna on 19 Oct 2010 at 11:00 am #

    Wait until the new Associate Chancellor for Social Media Opportunistics up there in Mockba decides that Fb is a platform we (and this means YOU) can’t afford NOT to be on, and the drumbeat of free informational webinar sign-up opportunities come clattering down into your in-box.

    I was wondering when I read about this this morning, what about all these entities (like our own departments, in some cases) that are signing up to be e-friended with all of the compliant insecurity of an adolescent? What corpocratic information are we “giving up” in these instances? These departmental-level decisions are often made at well below customary “governance” levels of process, while many of us clueless technoskeptics are just snorting and leaning on the “delete” button.

  11. Notorious Ph.D. on 19 Oct 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Regarding the “guest blogger” solicitations: what’s up with that? I’ve been getting a few of those, too, and I just don’t get it. It’s like some random individual e-mailing me and offering to live in my house for me.

  12. fannie on 19 Oct 2010 at 11:59 am #

    I get those guest blogger solicitations too.

    While I occasionally accept them, it usually means “hey want to provide content for our website/blog for free?” It’s fun when they come from advocacy groups who have paid employees. It’s like, “how about hire me and I’ll write for you all the time.”

  13. Historiann on 19 Oct 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Fannie–that’s exactly what I think is goin’ on. Blogging for a site that accepts advertising is just letting someone else share your “content.”

    Love Notorious’s description of guest-blogging as people offering to live in our houses rent-free. Even my horses contribute something to their upkeep, and the cats keep the mice out of the house and barn.

  14. koshem Bos on 19 Oct 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Once information gets out to the Internet it’s available for anyone out there. This was true about emails and is true now about FB. Even when we are sure that we let the outside peek only at a bits and pieces we freely circulate, the rest of the data, hidden supposedly, is potentially available out there.

    Although large number of scientists work on assuring our privacy if we care to keep it and be careful about it, their work is like the weather; everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.

    Be more careful and pray for your privacy to be private.

  15. Hattie on 20 Oct 2010 at 12:17 am #

    I use Facebook for friends and relatives and one or two bloggers I like. I don’t get all involved with it.

  16. Comrade PhysioProf on 21 Oct 2010 at 5:35 am #

    Fucke fucken facebook. Why anyone would want to freely provide intellectual content to a hugeass fucken corporation so that they can sell it for bajillions of fucken dollars is beyond me. And also, no one but you gives a fucken shitte that little Dylan took his first steps today and made poopy in his potty.

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