no seriously…who ARE you?


so today was one of those days that luckily went by rather quickly. I finally cleared off some old tasks that I had pushed way to the back of my to do list. Even though I got to work way late ( even for me), by 4:30 my inbox was empty and almost all my old dusty tasks were complete. Today was the first day in a long time I could look forward to leaving the office without my laptop and without having to bring work home with me. My friends, it was a good day. I took some time to go visit with a friend down the aisle and tried to enjoy the moment. By the time I arrived back to my desk after our chat, my AOL toolbar indicated that I had a new IM. I realized that I didn’t know the username. I wasn’t that alarmed as most folks in my company use AOL, and I do include my username as part of my company email signature. I was surprised to see ” I’m trying to realize where I know you from” when I clicked on this strange name though. I didn’t answer. I was asked what state I lived in. I immediately asked the person if they work for my company, and they responded that they didn’t. I asked for their name and they told me ( male) and then asked who I was. My response:”……”. He immediately replied back, “no seriously…who ARE you“. I became alarmed and told him that perhaps he had the wrong person, and he told me that I was on his recent buddies list for some reason. He asked again where I was from, wanting to know if I was from Ohio or MD. I told him neither.  I was intent on NOT providing a shred of data about myself. It just felt very uncomfortable to me. Why was this strange person insisting that I assuage HIS curiosity by sacrificing my peace of mind? NO, I do not know you and NO I do not wish to know you and please, just stop talking to me!! Thats my take on it. He could be the nicest guy ever in life, ever, but I just don’t want to talk to anyone without knowing HOW they found me, and WHY they found me and WHAT the hell they want to talk to me about. If someone found me through this blog, yes that would make sense. I’m sure  a convo would go something like this:

stranger who is NOT a stalker: Is this dearlesley?

dearlesley: yes. you are?

stranger who is not a stalker: O, I visit your site frequently..I just wanted to im and say hello.

 dearlesley: o ok. hey what’s up

stranger who is not a stalker: (would then start chatting about some non stalker like material)

dearlesley: ( would chat back, kindly removing her cursor from the BLOCK button, possibly making note of the username so that we could engage in future non stalker like discourse).

 How do you handle your personal security on line? With the number of personal blogs on the rise, the internet is chock full of very private and intimate details of our lives. For many of us, it is done under the veil of anonymity. Since we control what is being shared, we can also control with whom we provide this information. When you are emailed or IMed, at what point do you feel comfortable enough to actually engage in friendly discourse? At what point do you feel comfortable enough to share more personal information? I don’t know. It is a big step for me have blogs in the first place, and beyond that to have my picture attached is completely out of the stratosphere for a person like me. I am very conscious of WHAT I am sharing for this very fact. If I was confident that noone would EVER see my face or know who I was in “real” life, there is so much more that I could share. However since there is a possibility that I could be tapped on the shoulder in a moment of recognition in a public place, I really don’t feel that folks need to be THAT much up in through my business. Is that dishonest of me in a way? The things that I share are all me, and are all true. I guess I don’t always fill in the blanks.

Incidents such as what happened today, as innocent as I’m sure it was, send me reeling two step backs as far as my comfort level with this whole thing is concerned.


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