I’ve had this dilemma between wanting to share what’s going on in my life (especially as it’s current) and needing to protect myself to some degree. I remember reading awhile back about a guy whose home was burglarized after he announced a vacation over Twitter. That was a wake-up call for me and a reminder of the dangers of transparency. Katana had mentioned this very issue at some point, talking about how she would only speak of plans to vacation after the fact and make very vague references to places that she likes to frequent. It was all in an effort to prevent certain people from finding her too easily or know too much.
I may not be too concerned about my privacy yet, but maybe one day I will, if I become more high-profile through the work that I do and (hopefully) get to be known by. I don’t want to get into habits of sharing everything about my life and finding it working against me in the future. So far it’s been fine for me – I tend to talk about things I’m thinking of and things that I did on a particular day. Nothing there that would pinpoint where to find me, since I would have been long gone by the time I wrote about it. Of course, there was the huge move to Singapore that narrows things down quite a bit, but I’ve never mentioned where I’ve stayed or worked while here. Also, I haven’t talked about exactly where I live in LA and it’s not like the house is empty and easy to be broken into anyway.
However, this is the first time that I’m vacationing (there, I said it) since I started my blog more seriously. This time I’m not worried because people don’t know where I’m staying (except for colleagues, who I trust) and it’s not like I’m leaving the place empty – there will still be plenty of people occupying that space, going on with their lives. The problem is I don’t know what I’d do when I do go on vacation and leave a home empty. I absolutely love to share my life with others, friends or strangers. I just don’t want that to come kick me in the butt in the future for being too transparent about my life’s details. But will I really be able to resist sharing?
It’s a battle between who knows the most intimate details about me (and who can find out if they wanted) and of those people, who would actually do something to harm me. Does my announcement of some time away put me at risk for being robbed? Can people who I don’t know that well find my personal details? That stuff doesn’t seem too hard to find – I’m constantly filling out forms with it, so what if it all goes to the wrong hands one day? There are so many questions and not enough answers – this has to end up being a judgment call with not much basis beyond a feeling. I feel safe enough sharing it now, so I will. I’ll try to only write about the cities I visit after I’ve left them, just for practice.
I remember thinking similar thoughts when I posted earlier this week about looking for a job. I wanted to share a screenshot of my résumé, but I didn’t want everyone to see my contact details. So, I spent quite a bit of time editing it so that people would know that the contact details would have gone in that space, but not be able to read it. The first few times I tired a variety of blurring effects, but none worked well enough, so I finally settled with a pixelating. I trust that people are generally good, but it doesn’t hurt to take some cautionary steps at times. I just hope I don’t ever get too paranoid.