Featured Image: a ceramic hand I made in front of my broken laptop which I pulled up the “Hacker Typer” on. Lol.
In an ever-growing internet-based world, our expectation of privacy is slipping away. It’s nearing impossible to be completely unfindable, uncontactable, or unpictured.
Millennials have been on the internet since the days of MySpace, Wattpad, Omegle, Chatroulette, Ask.fm, pre-porn-ban Tumblr, and at the dawn of Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and later Snapchat and Instagram. Our internet history goes back to our middle school days before we knew the repercussions of what was posted on the internet. It seemed like a free for all; little did we know that all those posts would not just fall off, that they were infinitely archived and searchable.
Now it’s all there, and even if you scour the internet for your sins, you won’t get all of them.
Recently, someone from tinder emailed my business email that’s attached to this blog. Immediately, my reaction was a mix of fear, confusion, and feeling like my privacy was infringed upon. But was it? My blog address is in my tinder profile, and my blog has my business email. It’s all there and I put it there. Who am I to say you can’t do that?
And though he deleted his socials (or never had them), I googled him and found a plethora of information on him. Despite purposefully not putting himself on the biggest reducer of privacy on the planet, I could still find him.
Also recently, an associate of a contestant on a reality show I watch tweeted about him being on the show, and how he was abusive and said the n-word. Within hours, Twitter users searched the associate’s page and found that in 2013, almost 10 years ago, was a tweet with the n-word in it. It’s scary that with the time and energy, anything can be found. It’s yet another instance where a whistleblower is blown back at, which has a plethora of connotations for future victims.
And with the Doja Cat drama. Does she have a basic right to privacy when messaging someone? Morally, sure, but in actuality, not really. The written word is powerful, and the internet saves it forever. You can’t send that kind of message to a gen-z-er and not expect them to publicly roast you.
And don’t get me started on Ring doorbells and indoor cameras, which can be hacked or used by police as evidence with (and, in some cases, without) a warrant. And Fitbit which tracks everything health-related, and period trackers which could out you for missing a period and “miraculously” getting it back in a month or two. And iHomes and Alexas always listening (how else would they hear you say “Hey Google”). Even traffic cameras, business cameras, and any camera that’s not for personal use is tracking you and possibly using facial recognition (which can recognize your face even easier the more you use it to unlock your phone). And TikTok is letting pedophiles watch and SAVE videos of your children at no charge. Every smart device you put in your hand or home can and will use that information to sell you something at least and convict you of crimes at most.
Is it too late? Is it too late to try to decrease our Googlability? Is it too late to stop using these devices we now rely on? Is it too late to try to delete it all? Do we have any expectation of privacy in a world where it’s been proven that every company and therefore the government will record and archive everything you’ve ever said and done, everywhere you’ve ever gone, and everyone you’ve ever been in contact with?
And most importantly, can we survive this? Will it only get worse? Will government step in to protect our data from companies or will they continue to gorge on it themselves?
And even if they do, a lot of information is still out there for the taking by individuals — it’s not out of the ordinary for people to get doxxed. It’s also extremely common for social media to be hacked, so no matter how limited your friend’s list, you could still fall victim.
Be careful, my friends, as we enter new eras of technology. I’ll stay being the girl who posts everything to her blog and y’all keep yourselves secret.
To the man who emailed me, since I can’t seem to respond without using my personal email: While I wholly appreciate and thank you for your kind words, that is, in fact, not the most optimal way to contact me. I generally don’t prefer people to message me off the tinder app unless we’ve established a connection. Also, google yourself.
And as a note: I will continue to never use names/identifying information or specific locations in this blog. If you see something that’s too specific, let me know.