Beware of the Personals

I have an interesting tale to share about the state of the world — and of the soul — this evening.

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?

 

 

26 thoughts on “Beware of the Personals

  1. I am rather introvert to begin with so, no I don’t share a lot on the internet. Ofcourse there are people I trust more than others (:D) but you can’t hide if you want a life, so I am carefull. At our age you had “experiences” good and bad, as for the young ones they are a lot more careless cos of the lack of “our” experience.

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    1. I hope I can instill a common sense approach of caution to my grandkids when they get old enough to start surfing around the net. Call me old fashioned, but I still believe there are other ways to make friends than blindly behind a keyboard.

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      1. We live in a “small village” and so you know a lot of the people living here, my grandkids are in youth clubs and sportclubs and ofcourse there is school, so they both have a lot of friends. But as a gran you worry about their future….They’ll have a completely different life than we had, that is for sure !!

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      2. I think we all worry about future generations and their safety and future. I know as an adult how easy it is to be fooled by an anonymous adult — think of how vulnerable children can be. Maybe they’re way smarter in the future department than we were as kids. Still…keep an eye open for them!

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      3. Oh yes, kids are definitely different than we were at that age, but it is a pitty they can’t be ignorant and innocent for long now and there is not much we can do about it alas.

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    1. I don’t think it’s artificial at all. Unfortunately, you can Google your name and see pictures of yourself already. I suppose true psychos could find your address with no problem. I hate the dilemma this has brought up in my psyche. I guess I prefer to err on the safe side. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It really helps.

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  2. I’ve tried to stay as private as I can. I started my blog with only username and first name. City had to be revealed when I posted about a tornado, and last name is out now due to the book. I was wary at first because someone became angry at everyone on a forum I was on and sent trolling comments to my blog posts for years. However, blogging people overall do seem very pleasant and I see many who have traded addresses and remained in friendly contact.

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    1. Heaven forbid I start a business! As Ana said, there’s always a PO Box. But until the next step, all I/we have is where we live. I remember the days I used to have pen pals from all over. Everyone had my address, and no one showed up at my house. It’s just a different world now, and although I’ve made some good friends here, explaining my good friends to my significant other would be a whole nother level that probably wouldn’t go over well.

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  3. I have one blogger friend that I meet up with regularly, and I met up with another when she was in my town. I use my instincts as to who should be trusted

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  4. It isn’t really advisable to share personal information (location, birthdate, phone #, etc.) with anyone who isn’t a highly trusted friend — and even that can change. Like you said above, it is nearly impossible to know who is on the other end of the messaging. I have met only one or two people in person who I have first met on line. It doesn’t always go as planned…

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    1. I think it’s a shame that the world has reduced us to one suspicious species. But unfortunately there are those who take advantage of everything they can, and blind Internet interactions is one easy way to do that. Thank you for your honest opinion.

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      1. I just believe it is wise to keep strong defined boundaries until people prove they are worthy of your trust. It is simple self-preservation in these tumultous times.

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