Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Social Networking

I would like to thank all of you who have invited me to be part of your online social networks. As you probably noticed, I did not join your network. This is in no way a reflection on you or my willingness to be part of a social network, per se. Let me explain why I do not accept these invitations.

First, because my office is located within a Denver Public Schools facility, I am unable to access any online social networking Website through the school's Internet service. There is nothing I can do about this as it is just DPS policy. Many sites are blocked here, including FaceBook, Bebo, Hi5,, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, and most other social networking services.

Of course, I could set up social networks from my computer at home, but I still choose not to. Within the last 18 months, someone who apparently knew me from long ago saw my profile on and tried to track me down. Doggedly. It got scary and I no longer felt safe at work or at home. I removed myself from every kind of online thing I could think of, from Classmates to Amazon, Yahoo Groups, and more. If I need to be part of an online group, I do so under a pseudonym with my location listed as an obscure town in the Southwest that is actually uninhabited. Seriously. There is always going to be public information available that I cannot control, and I don't mind my work information being out there, but otherwise, I prefer to keep a low profile (or no profile, in the case of social networking).

So, I really do appreciate that so many of you have invited me to be part of your social networks, and I'm sorry that I can't accept those invitations right now. I am not anti-social, just trying to stay safe, or at least, as safe as I can in this cyber age.

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