“I’m an open book”, said the naive person.
I’M AN OPEN BOOK! Some even brag about it like it’s a badge of honor. I learned the hard way how naive a statement that is.
I remember one time I was out with friends and one of them said how they admired that I was the type of person that was the first to try new things or to do something new instead of just following what others think or did. Another friend laughed, “yea, Jim is the dumb one that does it first and finds out all the mistakes so the rest of us don’t have to go through it”. They both were probably right.
I have always wanted to think that everyone has good in them. In reality our culture has changed though and not for the better. Class, morals and character are harder to find and the evil that we see in the news is pretty scary. People hurt others without a conscious. And at times sites don’t do enough to protect us.
(one billion people lose their identity in Yahoo security breach)
How Social Media & The Internet Has Changed Our Communication:
The internet and social media is fun and has a lot of great rewards, but it also has serious issues. It has made many people dysfunctional communicators. Some people in business and in personal relationships are like Hemmingway in emails, texts and chats. Get them in person and their communication skills are as good as one of the Teletubbies. If I see one more person staring at their phone with their mouth slightly open like a zombie I think I’ll lose it. Look at people on dates; many don’t even talk to their partner. They are texting others, looking at videos or even flirting while checking their dating site profile or tinder page. Go to a movie theater and try to find people that aren’t texting someone. We have the attention spans of puppies on espresso and as a culture, we seem to use guesses, mind reading skills or jedi mind tricks to communicate with each other instead of just talking directly. Put the phones down!
My Crazy Experiences While Being An Open Book While Online Dating:
Psychologists say it takes a good year to get to know someone, but we think we know someone in minutes. I remember being an open book on Facebook for 5 years while in the dating scene when I became single. After a while people would show up uninvited to my house and work. I had one girl that I chatted with a couple of times do a search on me and found my business. We had coffee once and I knew she was not the person for me plus she looked way too young. One day I came into my office to see patients in the afternoon and my secretary said, “you’re girlfriend is here”. Well that was strange because at the time I didn’t have one. I walked in and of course it was this young girl. I asked her what was going on. I talked to her long enough to make sure she didn’t have an ax or Lizzie Borden tattoo, but I still wasn’t comfortable. I eventually got rid of her.
The worst situation I had was a girl I met online and we started to talk. She lived near me and asked to meet. We met a couple of times and would text and talk on the phone but she told me she slept around some and that there was no such thing as cheating. I told her we we’re not a match & that we should be friends or just go our separate ways. I didn’t’ know at my age saying you wanted to just be friends was still bad.
She went crazy. She started freaking out telling me who did I think I was and that she could get guys 100 times better than me. She then said I was messing with her and that no one messed with her and got away with it.
At about 12:30 am I began to get texts. It was from girls asking to meet and have sex. These girls began to talk about things that we can do that I’m not quite sure are physically possible. I texted back saying they had the wrong guy and told them to stop texting me. I found out that this angry woman had put an ad with all of my information on a sex ad on Craigslist. Craigslist emailed me & said to call the police. I warned her and she took the ad down. Instead of taking my time and being careful, I met her quickly and was an open book with all of my personal information on Facebook and LinkedIn and I let my walls down. I have many more stories like this.
The Scary Stories Of Anger & Wierdness:
One night when I was coming home from work, a man was sitting on my porch. It ended up being a patient; a pretty scary guy. He found my information from LinkedIn and Facebook and did a search on me and found my home address. It was 11:30 pm and he asked if we could talk and if he could come in. I actually saw my neighbor looking at him and I talked him into leaving. I slept with a loaded gun next to my bed just in case.
I wrote articles online at times for political sites and I was Mr. Open Book then too. Unfortunately I said something some people didn’t like and I started getting death threats. Someone emailed me a photo of my front yard saying he was watching me. I called the police but I was stressed out and for a while I didn’t let anyone come over.
(Yahoo scans emails to give to the government)
Your Photos are Public Domain & Can Haunt You:
You want to talk about open books, just go on Twitter or Instagram. People put up or share naked or sexual photos literally potentially ruining their reputation. I’ve seen 12-13 year olds trying to put up post sex selfies on Twitter. (How irresponsible parents are if they are not hovering over their teens computer use). I’ve blocked so many people I can’t count them.
It just blows me away how people can send near strangers naked photos of themselves and even videos. I’d talk to someone and the next thing I know I’m getting photos and occasionally naked photos or the famous naked strip tease on video. Friends wouldn’t believe me until I showed them.
First off it’s both dumb and risky at the same time and it lacks class. I know many are insecure these days needing lots of attention but come on. I had one pretty friend who loved attention. Well her cute and sexy Facebook & Instagram pics were used by scammers to set up fake accounts on dating sites trying to get money from men. When she spoke to the sites, they told her they would not take the photos down. Also; especially men; are you that dumb that you think those sexy pics this girl is ONLY sending you (wink wink) is a special way for her to say she wants you? WHO IS TAKING THE PHOTOS, their grandma’s? No; the guys they are sleeping with that’s who!
Take Back Your Privacy:
I realized then that between big business pimping out our web surfing habits, locations, purchasing habits, and all of our social media information, I was not going to be used or exposed. Google just recently said they would stop reading peoples emails. And former Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer; one of the most evil of all CEO’s; admitted for years she gave our communications to the Fed’s all while losing over 1 billion peoples information to hackers! Now Samsung admits to recording us through some of their smart tv’s, and appliances are the next to hook us up online. Well’s Fargo STEALS OUR IDENTITIES but it’s biz as usual. As long as we can watch Big Brother or the Bachelor I guess it’s all good.
For those of us who want to protect our identity, unfortunately there is only so much we can do. Remember folks that there is no law that states you have to put the correct birthday or exact spelling of your name on any social media websites unless you are buying something.
After all of the security breaches & drama I went though, I said “enough”. I started over. I protected myself and also stopped posting up family photos and giving personal information. I closed all of my social media sites and started over. I told my 3000 Facebook followers that I was moving on and that it had gotten too weird for me. Magically all of the drama ended shortly after.
A New Lease on MY Online Life:
I started to write again and it felt good to not be weighed down by internet drama. Even though I have over 50k followers on my two Twitter accounts, I’m more careful. I’ve slowly created safe, fun and healthy online relationships with some turning into friendships. I’ve used Google voice for a contact phone number and I feel much safer.
Social media and technology has created a high level of trust in the latest generation and I worry about them because they are very naïve. Corporations have slowly eroded their sense of privacy and their respect for it. It’s even a risk with our money. When I met with my banker once he spoke under his breath and told me not to use the banking app because financial apps in his opinion were not safe.
It used to drive one of my ex girlfriends insane when every where we went; or even if I was online; people would tell me their life stories. I guess I’m an O.K. guy but maybe people are just lonely and with all of the dysfunctional communications of today, they just need a human being to actually talk to. This is what we used to do when people had problems. Be it family or friends or a psychiatrist; we’d talk to someone on how to handle situations and how to cope with the stresses of life and get the pain out. Social media has made us talk too much, and listen far too little.
The Moral of The Story:
For our jobs some of us are forced to be as open as possible but on our personal accounts it’s our choice. The world isn’t as safe a place anymore and people need to be much more careful. You shouldn’t be a fearful hermit, but you also shouldn’t be Shirley Temple. It takes one identity theft, one bad thing said online, or one sleazy picture to ruin a reputation and cause years of headaches. Sorry Steve Zuckerberg, Apple, Google & Yahoo; I’m not trusting you any more. Learn from my mistakes friends; I always make them before everyone else does.