Last month, my book of poetry, On the Rim of Wonder, was published by Uno Mundo Press, a small press in Arizona. It is available on Amazon, coming on Kindle soon, and signed copies can be ordered from me. Today I checked to see what happens if I put my name in the Google search, hoping the two books I have authored would show up or at least this blog would. Not only did this blog show up, but my Facebook, Twitter, photos, and much, much more. Although I am not obsessed much with privacy–I consider myself to be quite the open book sort of person or the proverbial “you get what you see” type, I looked in shock at what I saw on the computer. I stared in disbelief.
One website, not Google–guess I was too astonished to even remember its name–listed my age, the main road of my address, and showed (no, I am not making this up) an aerial photo of my house. In a way this latter part seemed a bit funny because recently when I had to call the sheriff’s office (a bullet or rock shattered my passenger side car window on my way to opera practice) and they sent out two deputies, these deputies could not find my house. They actually called me and told me to meet them at the road because they had no idea where to go. If it had been something scary serious, something like a robbery, the thieves would have been far away while the deputies wandered up and down the road. Often when I invite people over who have not been to my house before, they get lost, even with detailed directions. After seeing this personal information on the Internet, I feel relieved that my house is still hard to find. On some other sites, the information appeared to be either confusing or erroneous–not sure which is worse. I thought about looking further, but guessed it could only get more alarming.
How do I feel about all this? What upsets me the most? For starters, I remain horrified, insulted, and dismayed that my age would be published like that. Guess that tells all of you something about my sensitivities. Another concern is safety. Is it really personally safe to have all this information out there for just anyone to find with so little searching? Thankfully, I live behind a locked gate and Isabella, my dog, alerts me to anything unusual. She is big, 80 pounds, and fierce looking–a mix of wolf, German shepherd, and blue heeler. She can destroy a huge steak bone in as little as fifteen minutes. Still, all this out there for all to see gives me pause.