Day 18: Privacy, my friends, is out the window.

Google Privacy

With all that’s been going on in the news regarding the CIA, NSA, Snowden, and companies like Verizon raising eyebrows, it’s hard not to think about today’s notion of privacy. Technology alone has made it easier than ever to be able to get our voices heard and communicate with one another, but few probably stop to think about the cost and that the concept of privacy is not what it used to be.

Yet somehow in our minds we think it should be. We keep our smart-phones glued to our hip, connecting us to the world beyond. That one piece of technology is able to give in detail who we talk to, how, how often, when, where we are when we do, and what our interests are through apps and internet usage.  And then we naively think that no one would want or should have access to that data. We willingly post pictures and details of our daily lives on social websites–what we’re eating, who we’re with, why we’re bored, etc–but yet seem to want to maintain the notion that our lives are our own and should still be private. The Facebook generation has no problems posting inner dialogue and risky outer moments on the internet for all to see, but then is surprised when employers frown or even invoke consequences on that same behavior.

Facebook privacy settings...time to check 'em.

As public as we make ourselves, there is still the thought of a “right to privacy.” Every time Facebook changes their parameters and settings, there is a following uproar to the loss of privacy, and yet many of us fail to change our own settings to maintain even the littlest of privacy allotted. If you haven’t yet, Google yourself. It’s not a bad thing to know just what is out there and what others are seeing. (It’s a scary, yet thoroughly entertaining excercise. I highly recommend it.) And just for giggles, Google your parents, some of your friends, and even some collegues too.

Have you Googled yourself lately?

Even with this blog, as a fairly private person I find myself struggling with the fact that my words are out there for anyone to see at any given point–and I’m the one that chose to put them out there! That is extremely intimidating. Once words are out, they cannot be taken back. That’s part of the beauty in what makes them so powerful. Our words shape our future and the future of others. Whether we choose to admit it or not, we are living the lives our long-ago words created.

When I first took on this 30 day self-imposed blog challenge, it was initially for me to tackle my book slump and get the creative juices flowing again so that one day the 30,000 word book monster sitting on my computer wouldn’t just be sitting on my computer. I even had the blog settings locked, set on private, and blocked the engines from crawling it. I meant business. What a strange dichotemy though–I had chosen to publish to the internet and yet didn’t want “the public” to see it. I was a walking talking hypocrisy. So with a big breath I changed the settings and opened myself up to the world…or at least to wordpress.

If I were truly honest with myself, I would admit that the notion of privacy is probably one of the road blocks on moving forward and finishing the book. I want to stay private. I like it. But how on earth am I to publish a book on the 30×30 project if 1) I am not completely honest and open and include details on that particular journey, 2) get over whatever fears I have in sharing the highs and lows of my current journey and situation, 3) don’t tell anyone I’m doing this, and 4) change the dang privacy settings on my blog! There is no way my life is going to be able to help anyone else’s if I stay locked away for my own personal security reasons. The whole point of this journey, this book, this blog, is to help someone else in their own. And when I don’t have good answers on “the how,” I tend to shy away. I’m human, I want to know the plan, the dirty details, the next steps…”the how.”

That is where faith comes in. When we know what to do and have the direction or instructions, it’s time to just step forward and do it. This is me doing it. At day 18 on the blog challenge we’re over halfway done. High five. The settings have been changed and this is a completely open blog, linked to Facebook and everything. Another high five. The 30,000 word monster is currently with an editor for round one editing. That’s the biggest high five of them all.

More than anything, thank  you to all who have been along on this journey so far, who are just joining, and to all those who are a part of the future stages. And when the 30,000 word book monster finally does come to fruition…I hope Google finds it.

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