Through the many years I have been online I have made very few new friends — friends in the sense that I share my name and address with. I learned early in the active life of the Internet that people are not always who they seemed.
Why they weren’t I couldn’t understand. Talk about being a simpleton. I trusted what others shared. You are a 24 year old college student? Okay. You are a lonely man looking for friendship? Sure. You were a mom with two kids? I believe you.
How did I know that behind that 24 year old stammer could be a 50 year old pedophile? How would I know that that lonely man was really a psycho from prison?
None of my tales wound up that drastic. But I was so easily fooled. And then, of course, the Internet matured, and, fortunately, so did I. I ran around alot for a while under an assumed name. But I didn’t like that, because it wasn’t truthful.
And I always found myself wanting to tell the truth.
I started my Humoring the Goddess blog April 18, 2011 under my own name. I didn’t — and still don’t — offer many personal details in my comings and goings here. I pay attention to the stories of crazies trying to pick up young girls and schemers taking advantage of older people. I believe in the goodness of everyone but am smart enough to know that now and then that goodness is buried beneath stacks of evil.
So yesterday I get an email from a fellow blogger, someone whose blog I love and comment on and she on mine. She wanted to send me something in the mail.
Instantly I slammed that gate and locked it, peeking through the steel bars that pretend to protect me. I explained my fears, and she understood.
Then she told me what she wanted to send me.
It was not the kind of explanation a gorilla would send so they could come over to my house and rob me and take my money and life. It was a little gift that connected instantly with my dreams and thoughts.
And I thought again about sharing something so dreadfully personal as my address.
I know you have to trust somebody in this world. There are so many good, wonderful somebodies around — you can’t be afraid of all of them. You have to use your common sense, and even your sixth sense, and once in a while take a chance with your truth.
Today’s generation is probably much more open to meeting up with online connections. They take precautions not even thought of in my time. Most of those connections pan out, too. I just don’t know if I would have the same luck.
So I took a chance and shared my address. If a gorilla shows up one bright day looking for my unicorn stash it wasn’t as if I didn’t warn myself.
I will still keep the gate locked, though, and watch the world race around madly through the bars at a safe distance.
Do you share your personal personals with others online?