It’s always a spectacular day when you receive a cold, calculating email, odd (and inexpensive) credit card charges appear on the rare night you’re not swiping it, and Facebook shuts you down for “indecency.” Yes, I’ve been hacked, and not for the first time. But this time is more vast, and I even feel myself looking over my shoulder. He/She/It/We/They even canceled my Netflix. What the what?!? Now I’m pissed. It’s obviously more than the average thief that has invaded my privacy. This is skeevy and creepily intimate, because it’s different than a physical purse being stolen. Our lives are online…personal, professional, economical…and its a deeper betrayal. And it appears to be endless. This evening, even my blog was taken over, and a post was created that did not come from my fingertips. There is nothing creepier than someone putting words into your mouth and signing your name with a Send button. If there is, I don’t want to experience it. It’s an extremely emotional violation. And I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m downright scared as to what tomorrow will bring.
I was told today that this is the price we pay for living in a social world, with our lives on display. And I agree with that, but to a point. I trusted all the precautionary measures – the firewalls, the passwords, the two security questions, the text verifications, the privacy settings….Is it all smoke and mirrors?
I think back to college exams, when we were asked to not write our names at the top of the page, so that our wise, old dusty professor wouldn’t judge our essays with his predisposition. Instead, we continually wrote our social security numbers on them, collected them, and received them back when they were called out loud in front of the room. Priceless, when you think about it. Our most secret number, given to us at birth, our key identifier, yelled out in a room…and we didn’t bat an eyelash. I write it on everything to this day, with no questions asked.
“Would you like fries with that?”
“Great! If you could just write down your social security number…”
“Here you go!”
Ironically, I’m sitting here watching Diane Lane in Cinema Verite, a movie recounting one of the very first reality series, “An American Family,” filmed all the way back in 1973. Their normal Santa Barbara lives are turned upside down, “friends” come out of the woodwork, infidelities are broadcast, and lives become stiff caricatures. Producers push the drama and relationships unravel, no longer able to engage in warm, intimate conversation. They lost the link to anything real.
So I feel like it’s time to step away for a bit, shut down, leave for the weekend, and get away – from California, from online billpay, from Citicard fraud alerts. I’ll be back, when I feel whole and one, when Mark Zuckerberg resolves my security breach – and when I’m feeling clearer about things.
And because I’d like to end on a lighter note, this clip below shows what technology can do to us, when we act like it’s a friend and don’t respect what it’s supposed to be used for. How it can turn on you when you think you’re safe. It’s hilarious, trust me.
That’s all from me – over and out.