Thursday, February 12, 2009

Betrayed by The Huffington Post? I want my Virtual Lives separated!

It is clear that I intend to keep my blog anonymous. Not that it matters to anybody anyway since in the grander scheme of things, I AM anonymous: one of the masses, does not matter whether my name is known or not. However, in the unlikely case when someone at work or a family member stumbles upon my blog, I really don't want them to know what I really think about things. I mean, some of the things are better left unsaid, un-discussed. If I could have discussed an issue or a subject with anybody at work or in my social circle, I would probably have discussed it with them and got it over with. No need to use this blog as my "therapy sessions". It is the same as when I leave comments on the Huffington Post. There are acquaintances and co-workers who I don't want to become privy to how I see things.

I made the first mistake when I signed up for the Huffington Post through my Facebook login. Lo and behold, my Profile name is now my real name, and when you click on my profile, you are prompted to a screen to connect with me through Facebook. Again, 99.999999% of the world population will not care or bother, since my name or "Jane Doe" does not make any difference to you. Again, however, in the unlikely chance that someone I know comes across the same posts and the same comments, I don't really want to be "found out."

Ok, lesson learned. Luckily the comments I left were pretty neutral and fair. No moral, emotional, outbursts of any kind. No bawdy remarks. No curse words (since they are not allowed in the first place). I left my first profile as is, nothing to be done about it. There does not seem to be an easy way to disenroll myself from THP. I am lazy. Whatever.

I created a second profile. This time I made absolutely sure not to log in through Facebook and used an inconspicuous handle. Things were going along well. No personal information divulged through my profile. Until just now...

Somehow, the system working behind the scenes detected my Facebook login when I was logged into THP at the same time, and automatically connected the dots on its own. Now my profile picture shows a tiny "F" at the corner and when you click on it, the screen shows my name, that I am on Facebook, and would you like to connect with me on Facebook.

Now the tiny F is a BIG GIANT HUGE F to me!!!

This brings back the memory when a tiny window creeped up from the bottom of my computer screen after I finished with my Blockbuster queue, announcing (not even asking!) that my friends on Facebook would be able to see what movies I would be watching. The window then quickly disappeared before I could click on the button "No F*ing way!"

In the age of social media, Web 2.0, etc. etc. it is probably boggles the mind of those who design these nifty, intelligent, systems that someone, like me, may not want to have all of their virtual lives tied up in a nifty bundle, that someone may still prefer to lead an anonymous life while pouring her heart out.

It is ironic. But we live in an ironic era, no?

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