“I don’t know whether I’m coming or going,” people sometimes say when they’re being pulled in several different directions. I feel the same way about my presence on the internet. So many bits and bytes of me are floating in the Cloud, I’m not sure how to maintain my identity or privacy. Worse, data collected by NSA, the post office, the Motion Picture Association of America, Equifax and even the US Air Force increases my anxiety about where I’m being captured and stored. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/06/domestic-spying_n_4100211.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
Of course, I’m to blame for allowing myself to be scattered. A writer has to network, which means I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads… The list is endless. This morning, my web manager suggested I make more confetti of myself by creating a fan page. “A fan page?” I replied. “I can’t imagine a more lonely place.” The web manager laughed but encouraged me to try his suggestion, so I agreed. Once it’s up and running, I’ll be like Dr. Who, sending myself along the infinite paths of the world wide web with the single assurance that I’m “out there” somewhere, careening through virtual space.
Recently, a Facebook friend decided to move in the opposite direction. He’s chosen to abandon social networking in favor of a good book. I admire his decision though it strikes me as delusional. If he imagines he can regain his seclusion by dropping from Facebook, I suspect his effort will be no more effective than switching off his living room light bulb in an attempt to preserve the world’s dwindling energy supply. The truth is, solitude and anonymity are conditions of the past. We can’t wish NSA away or surveillance by the Post office, the Motion Picture Association, Equifax and all the retailers who track our every move. Getting lost in the crowd is the best we can hope for.
(Courtesy of www.michaelrigaud.co.uk)