Friday, May 4, 2018

What about privacy?

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

For the past year, I've been watching a LOT of Youtube videos. So many younger-than-me women seem to have no problem showing off every aspect of their lives. They post videos that invite you to watch them clean their houses. To meet their children. To investigate their closets, explore under their kitchen and bathroom sinks, and some of them seem to have no shame when these places are filthy and littered with mouse droppings and/or worse.

How did this happen? Was it the advent of (so-called) reality television? Where everybody and anybody wants their 15 minutes of fame, even if it means showing their home in the midst of a hoarding situation?

How does someone like me, who is encouraged to engage in social media on a daily basis, handle such an onslaught?

Judiciously.

Yes, I have made a few videos. I have two Youtube channels. My book video channel and my Lorraine's Fun Stuff channel. One thing you won't be seeing much on the latter is ME. I don't feel comfortable in front of a camera. I like to think of myself as an okay photographer, but don't put me in front of one. There are very few photos of me taken these past 20 years. I have never had a professional author photo taken because ... I just don't like to be photographed. These days there is far too much "shaming" on social media. Just the other day, one of my FB friends posted that she had been fat shamed in a restaurant because she dared to order chicken salad.

Chicken salad is now something to be shamed for eating? Holy crap! If so, I'm in big trouble!

Yes, I like to see the home tours that are displayed on Youtube. They're fun ... but showing the outside of your home, and telling what city you live in? Isn't that just an invitation for someone to come and rob you--or worse? And showing pictures of your children or grandchildren knowing how many perverts are out there? Okay, as Mr. L likes to say, I am definitely paranoid.

And what about Facebook's admission that our data--and I was informed mine was among that, even though I did NOT download an app that was the cause of the problem. One of my "friends" did and now my FB data is compromised. Thanks, friend. NOT. Luckily, I don't post anything of a private nature. Okay, I've told my readers of my ongoing grief over losing my cats--and on this venue as well--but I never tell people where I go, or what I do. And if I do, it's after the fact. Sometimes weeks after the fact.

Readers want to be connected to their favorite authors, and I get that. I'm a fan, too. But compromising one's safety or that of their loved ones is far too easy these days.

Does that make me an old fart? Maybe. But some things should just remain private.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

How about you?
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