Matthew Gates http://notetoservices.com 5m 1,328
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
No Longer Anonymous On The Internet
If information is on the Internet, it is completely public, readily available for anyone and everyone to look at. Your choice to remain anonymous diminishes with every new piece of information uploaded or typed on to the Internet. With Social Media Networks, you can limit access so only your friends may see, but of course, those CIA or FBI agents who have special profiles created specifically to bypass the “friends-only” view can see you too, incase they ever need to find out more information about you. Did that shock you that such profiles could exist and see all your information regardless of privacy preferences? Most programmers know things like that exist and are very easy to code. A simple if statement in any language could do the trick to open a backdoor.
What do you care about your information being on the Internet anyway? You have nothing to hide, right? If you did, you most likely would not put it on the Internet for all to see, but you already reveal too much information when you share your location, tweet or post a status update, or upload your pictures for everyone to see. If you used an alias, maybe you could remain somewhat anonymous, but your friends could easily type your full name in a comment, or you might just eventually let it slip in some profile information.
There was a scene from the movie Wanted, in which Wesley Adam Gibson (James McAvoy) searches for himself and Google returns no results. Of course, if you did really search for that name, even though it was a fake name created for the movie, you would really see a result. Hardly ever does Google ever not show ANY result, and in fact, I would say by now, it is almost impossible for Google to come up with ZERO results.
I once too could search for myself and find nothing, at least, about myself. My entire name is fairly common and a search would reveal a hundred people with my name, all of them were not me, and even Google images showed no pictures of me, and I was happy to have it that way. Now I believe if you Google my name, I can easily be found. Am I okay with this? Well, if I could choose not be listed, I might have it that way, but I am not exactly hiding from anyone nor have I committed any crimes. What harm could anyone do by seeing my name on the Internet?
Ever since I created Confessions of the Professions, I was left wondering: Do I remain anonymous when submitting confessions or do I allow myself to be exposed? Well, I left the feature to remain anonymous optional. There are certainly confessions that I may type up and remain anonymous, as I do not want a former company knowing I wrote about them. And then there is the harder choice on this website and on any website: Exposing yourself.
With the introduction of all the articles I write on Confessions of the Professions, I could have chosen to remain anonymous, but then who would be responsible for the credit of writing those articles? Who would be the one to respond to comments, feedback, and opinions? The fear of choosing not to remain anonymous has overwhelmed me and turned me paranoid at times. What if my boss or people at my job began reading confessions and saw my name?
Considering the fact that when I write an article, I tend to link it to my LinkedIn account where I am completely exposed there and my history of jobs is there, so any company may see that it is me and I could never hide it. The major fear is that a company I work for would fire me for material on this website, but than they may be violating the First Amendment. Fortunately, I am not breaking any company policy or any rules. I am not performing any illegal activity and I simply write what is on my mind — mostly information about what I observe or think of when it comes to careers, jobs, and the workplace.
Since writing this, I can actually add this new paragraph about how I began a project that required me to expose myself, make myself vulnerable, along with 500 women, some who decided to be a part of the My Life As A Woman Project and are now forever immortalized in the book called My Life As A Woman: World Edition. While the book has made sales and has even been featured on CISION PR Newswire, a gigantic media corporation, it has not made me super famous nor has it brought me any notoriety, which was the absolute expectation of someone who was hardly known before, which is a good thing.
Rather than be famous for a collaboration on a book that brought women from every country in the world together to share their stories, the book itself along with the stories remain undiluted, as if it was coming from a celebrity, who could easily have promoted the book, the fact is: the book is not associated with any celebrities, despite the fact that there are a few semi-famous women who decided to participate in the project, including a North Korean defector, a Princess, and the Vice President of a country. Despite all this, I can still be known and unknown, and decided my name would be on the book and in the book.
So why do I choose to expose myself by name for all to see who I am? To take credit for building this website; to take credit for the work I do; to take credit for writing informative articles on this website, to be the credit or authority for which everyone grows to trust on this website; which may later be of help at any time in my life; to become the name people either hate or love; or simply to become known, and because I am not afraid to be exposed. There are so many reasons why I choose not to remain anonymous and there are other reasons why I do.
There are many people who have contributed to society, modern technology, and humanity who will forever remain nameless and be forgotten, just as I will be someday, but it hardly matters, especially when the things you did might get noticed, or you spent your time on this Earth doing something important, rather than watching the years go by, the sun rise and set, and before you know it, you’re returning to the Earth in a way that no one else who is alive can do, but yet, everyone who is alive, will eventually return in some form to the Earth that provided them with life, and just as it provided you with life, it also demands that you give it your death, so that it may use your death, in some way, to provide more life.
Plenty of people have come across this website and have submitted articles, the majority also choosing NOT to remain anonymous. Why would they expose or not expose themselves? The Internet has become a place for everyone to leave their signature, their writings, their piece of mind, or simply just be a part of Internet history — something greater than themselves. There are a dozen sites out there archiving the Internet, and maybe someday, it will be available for the entire universe to see.
There are many reasons to remaining anonymous, but the Internet has become so mainstream that no one is concerned about privacy anymore. Whether this is a good thing or not is up for debate, but one thing is definitely for sure: All those businesses looking to capitalize on the human being are benefiting from the continuing lack of anonymity by more and more people who continue to add more information about themselves on the Internet everyday.