01 April 2012

social commentary Sunday . . . 'cyber stalking'

Greetings all,
Social media & getting your 'cyber fix' is just part of life these days . . . having an on line profile is de rigueur whether you are a business, hoping to find old friends, creating a life diary for your child or simply have interesting things to say.  I've kept my children's names, dates of birth & other 'points of identification' off line, to maintain their privacy . . . why make it any easier for anyone to steal your identity, now or in your children's future??
Lately i've been wondering . . . what if all this online profile business was around when i was a child??  Hopefully i'd have more than 3 photos of myself before i started school!!  After listening to my nieces & nephews confirm relationships, friendly gossip & up-to-the-minute holiday news via FaceBook, it kind of freaks me out, how much personal information is out there.  Do they realise they are declaring their movements - where to find them (clubs, schools, jobs) & who they'll be with??  When social media attaches the location you are at - to status updates, how can anyone cheat - lovers, employers, teachers??  I don't like to post 'that i'm away' when i'm away (burglars) but when i'm tagged in a photo at an interstate event . . . it automatically tells the world & i don't have control over that, unless i delete my on line profile.  
I can honestly say i have never gone through my husband's phone messages/ call list/ email/ pockets . . . i'm just not snoopy.  My mother used to tell us where she hid our Christmas gifts so we wouldn't accidentally find them while searching for dress ups or board games in her wardrobe.  I'm not a saint & i don't like surprises, but i respect people's privacy. 
But . . . as a teenager, OMG, in my room, alone, with the internet & cute boys' names written on my arm, i really wonder if i could resist doing some research on them??  Would i check out where my future boyfriend is spending Summer & bump into him at that beach??  I really wouldn't trust an immature me.  Would i be possessive, dream up a fantasy life with a boy i saw on my bus, cross check his school on line & hope to find a picture of him on, work out his name, cyber stalk him??  Can't say i wouldn't.  In high school i wanted to be a police detective as i was really good at solving puzzles & i started on the forensics path at University.  A year later i met my handsome soldier, no cyber stalking (it was 1994) but i just remembered, he said if i hadn't given him my number he would have looked it up in my Army Reserve records & made some excuse to call me anyway.  Now who is the stalker??  Oh this generation just isn't terrified like we were with movies like Fatal Attraction & Basic Instinct.  Bunny boiler anyone??  Ok, i've never seen these movies but i know the premise, just never ends well for Michael Douglas, the quintessential pants man. 
I think i would be a terrible cyber girlfriend, i really do think i would google a boy before a date!!  While i have never been a jealous person, would i feel differently if i checked his history with girls, where they went, how pretty she was??  It could be so insane!!
Would you trust a yourself to not check someone out on line??  Are you dating now, or what about a pre-internet you??  Do you cyber stalk??  Have you been cyber stalked??  This doesn't include bloggers finding you at a bloggie event, or many of you would be saying "yeah, that Posie girl came right up to me at a market/ craft event/ meeting & said you must be such & such, totally freaking me out!!"  I find it so fascinating, love Posie

29 comments:

Sally said...

Ditto. I don't think all this online stuff would necessarily have been good for me when I was a teenager. I'm pretty sure I would have cyber stalked any boy I had a crush on. How could I have helped myself?

Tania McCartney said...

Put it this way... I'm deterring my children from facebook and twitter and any open online presence for as long as humanly possible!

Have never been cyber stalked (that I know of! who can really know?) and have never done it myself, through the current 'trolling' trend is what disturbs me the most - sociopaths cruising in search of causing nastiness and trouble.

Perhaps they should take up knitting instead.

Makeminemidcentury said...

Posie pants,

I think if you have any sort of on-line identity, you'll be spied on by someone, even if it's a closed Facebook account, people will look-you-up.

I've been spied on by my sister-in-law whom I have no contact with. I had a lot of trouble with it for a long time because I knew, thanks to 'Feedjit', when she was reading my blog, which was quite often. I have absolutely no contact with her, but here she was sneakily reading all about my thoughts and life.

But I decided to accept it as part of my decision to continue blogging. I also accept that fact that a lot of people read the blog, but never comment. I think that's almost as bad.

However, that's life now if you choose to put anything about yourself on the Internet.

mel @ loved handmade said...

I would have totally been a cyber stalker! Of boys anyway. when you put it all like this as a teen, terrifying what faces our kids.

ally said...

Delete this if its a second comment...the first one seemed to get eaten!
I'm glad the cyber world wasn't around when I was a teen - I would have been hopeless at resisting.
Maybe would have caught the cheating boy a bit before he broke my heart though...
I do wonder about reading blogs endlessly and never commenting...
Lots to ponder
xx

Felicity said...

The world has certainly changed and the way that people interact on and off web is changing too.

I've cyberchecked previous boyfriends but you have to be discerning - it will be interesting to see what happens when our children have children and how the social face of life has shifted again - mind boggling.

Happy week ahead Lovely,
x

Posie Patchwork said...

Feeling very reassured that i'm not the only 30 something now, who couldn't have helped themselves doing a little old spying on boys as a teen!!
I'm a serial commenter, i would easily comment on 95% of the blogs i read, so not just a statistic, i leave a trace i've been there, happily so, love Posie

cheryl @ nefotlak. said...

I totally cyber stalked you!!!!!!
ha!!!!
I have used the internet to search down people (not in an attempt to hurt anyone - just to try and find out more about my roots - it's an adoptee thing)- it's scary how much is out there - and mostly people have no idea.
I'm glad that I know as much as I know though - so I can talk about this stuff with my kids. too many parents bury their heads in the sand - and hope that it won't affect them or their kids.
C xxx

Kylie said...

:) I have my children's names on. I have thought of taking them off but that would mean going through 5 years of blogging!!!
People know them now - I blog a holiday when we get back:)
I think I would be with you on the stalking a boy - hehe.

Polly said...

Oh goodness, I would have been a hopeless case, and I would have over analysed every last morsel of information. It was bad enough sitting around waiting for a phonecall, let alone friending on facebook, a change of status etc etc etc. Still I love the Cyber world, it has opened up so much for me, with friends all over the world, I deal with it as it comes and keep my fingers crossed it is always above board.

Mum on the Run said...

The mind boggles!!
All I can say is that I'm grateful that my adolescence wasn't captured for all the world to see.

I'm nosy - I totally would have cyber stalked!!
:-) xx

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

I'd love to keep my kids off facebook for as long as possible, but I know it's inevitable. I'll just have to try and teach them as well as I can to not be too careful! I don't use my kids names either, but I still sometimes worry a little. I often read without commenting - sorry! I often read blogs too late in the evening and I really don't trust that what I say will make sense in the wee hours! - comments are on the www for all to see as well!

polkadotpeticoat said...

I guess you made me think....I have a friend who's dating and its so weird to see that its mostly done on the internet....where is the romance in texting and emails?

SportyMummy said...

I am not looking forward to having teenagers in the house who are on line! I'm having enough trouble with it myself!!

If used properly, the internet can be a wonderful way to meet some great people....

...and it was lovely to meet you today :)

Cherie @ 'a baby called Max' said...

It's cyber bullying that scares me most.

My cousins are so young, & put so much on their facebook profiles, & it just makes me think, SLOW DOWN!

& BE CAREFUL!

It's such a vulnerable age xx

TexWisGirl said...

good luck getting your kids through all this! yikes! i agree - i'd have been a mess...

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

I am wary about what I put on my blog re: family, can't help but be. But I have also checked out old boyfriends on facebook to see what they're up to, more curiosity than stalking.. but yes, it's amazing what we can find out online these days. Amazing and scary!

Shelley @ My Shoebox Life said...

I would have been terrible for stalking as a teenager, I just know it. I am so glad that all that I could do back in my day was write letters at night to girlfriends at school, and the odd boy crush which I would never have the guts to give them! From time to time I get bothered about blogging and the fact that people from my past read about my life, but then why let it get to me? I figure it's their problem, not mine. xx

Woollybutthill said...

I am so not cyber savvy and realize I must amend this as my kids start using this technology so to make them aware of how publicly available their personal life can become. It is a different world to asking a friend of a friend about boys etc On the up side it is a wonderful way to connect and keep in touch with family and friends.
x M.

Michelle said...

I have totally checked out guys I like on facebook. Someone I've met at a friends party etc. But only to see what photos they have on there and make sure they dont have a gorgeous girl on their arm or anything like that! But then I guess you grow out of all of that and decide having a real conversation face to face is much more efficient (and less freaky!)

Cas said...

interesting blog posie. i often worry about how much info goes out there (which is why i keep my blog to basics) i think the problem is the line drawn in the sand is so broad & the rate of social media grows quicker than educating our kids. scary thoughts, but maybe through our own responsible blogging etc, we can teach in house whats important :)

Alex aka WHOA MUMMA! said...

I remember being COMPLETELY WEIRDED OUT when my close friends mentioned they regularly popped onto the blog for a read. I thought, why are spying on me?!

Stupid right? Now I don't really care who looks at it or reads it.

I've stopped writing about the bigger kids to give them some privacy (and to be honest, they're kinda boring).

And I'm SUPER GLAD I didn't have the internet growing up! I would have been sooooo boring!!!

The Moerks said...

Oh man, in my day looking a boy up in the phone book was MAJOR, imagine what you could find out now.

alison@thisbloominglife said...

Yep,this whole world scares me. I've been know to do a little ahem research online myself. I'm way behind on the social stuff though and am aware I need to educate myself before the kids get there. I routed Miss 10s email through my phone so I could see what they were all up to. Then the school gave them emails and I'm out of the loop. The teachers monitor but I would love to be able to still keep a handle on it all. Phew, sorry for the long response...

Bindi said...

I learn more about my nieces and nephews on FB than their parents know. It definitely gives me a need to stay on top of what is going on in the world of social media. My kids will be old enough for FB pages in only a few years.

And I have totally looked up old boyfriends just to see what they are doing now (and if their girlfriends/wives are nice looking or not!)

Interesting post Posie. Thanks!

Posie Patchwork said...

Giggles, looking up the phone book, oh those were the days!!
I've never thought to look up old boyfriends, i'm so not interested & obviously, marrying my teen love, i didn't build up a lot of history with anyone else. I'm SO fascinated ladies, thanks so much for your amazing comments & admitting you too, would be total crazied teens, like i'm sure i would be too. How lucky we're all so mature, sophisticated & worldly now!! Love Posie

kelly said...

:-)..now I'm your new follower :-)..
I think if I had a blog or facebook when I was 15 ....bad things would have happened..or a huge basket full of good things would have happened
:-)...jeez our children are fortunate to be living in an age where they can have a choice.
p.s i followed you back here after you commented on my blog...does that make me a stalker?? :-) xoxo

vimala rani said...

It is necessary for every parent to learn what is cyberstalking its impact on your child and how to protect him/her from Cyber harassement

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