“Babe, can I talk to you about something?” asked The Engineer in a small and hesitant voice on the phone yesterday. As this particular tone is normally reserved for times when he’s feeling anxious, hurt, or insecure, I automatically said, “Yes, of course.” And then he dropped something completely out of the blue on me: He’d just gone on Twitter to delete his account, and he noticed that Twitter had recommended my blog account to him as a potential account to follow.
He knows that I write a sex blog; I send him what I write about us before I post it, and though I’ve told him that he’s free to read it, he’s chosen not to as he doesn’t want to read about my past partners in graphic detail. He’s been careful to respect my privacy, so being confronted with my Tweets freaked him out a bit – and completely fucking unnerved me. Not because it’s him, but because… how the fuck did my blog account show up on his Twitter?!?!?!?!? It left me wondering: Since I’ve been using the same browser for both my personal and my blog email (a mistake which I have since rectified), is Twitter trawling my personal email account for contacts unbeknownst to me? Who’s next? My close friends? My family? My coworkers?
I got my first smart phone after I started writing the blog; I remembered early on in blogging that Cammies had posted a Tweet about how Twitter automatically sent out a suggestion to follow her blog account to every contact on her phone when she used it – it was at that point that I knew I would never, ever use my phone to do anything blog-related. I use strict privacy settings on my browsers, I don’t use Facebook at all because I’m anxious about my privacy, and… for some reason I didn’t bother to check the privacy settings on Twitter when I signed up for it. I’ve since marked that I don’t want my account suggested based on email, but I’ve also found out that Twitter makes suggestions for accounts to follow based on physical proximity, meaning that I was likely suggested to The Engineer because I was blogging at his apartment when I went to visit last fall. And if so… does that mean that anyone who opens Twitter on their phone at my house will see my blog account recommended to them? That seems super fucking creepy and invasive.
As you may know if you follow sex news, teachers are routinely fired for being normal human beings with personal lives. I love that there are sex bloggers who are completely out, but if I want to continue being an educator of young people, that’s not an option for me. Since I started writing the blog, I’ve always felt pretty safe about avoiding being discovered by people I don’t want discovering me, and well… I don’t feel safe anymore. If you blog anonymously, what do you do to protect the privacy of your identity?
*First of all, GOD I HOPE THIS IS A PORN TITLE. Second of all, I know the post title has nothing to do with the content, but since this week’s Wicked Wednesday theme is pirates and I’m not writing a piece of pirate-themed erotica, this was the least I could do. 😀