Why Don’t I Have Issues With Privacy?

I’ve been reading about some YA authors who are leaving Facebook for a variety of reasons. I’m not going to argue about why one should or shouldn’t do so. This post is not a rant (I don’t think).

It seems that the new privacy changes have at least something to do with people’s decision to leave. And whenever people talk about privacy and Facebook, I generally glaze over and update my status to something having to do with business socks or cocaine. Just kidding. But the truth is, I just don’t have issues with privacy. I really don’t care if you know my kids names, think I talk too much about being published, wince when I curse, know when I’m feeling insecure, etc. Sure, I draw some lines on what to share. I guess that’s all the control I need. I’ve never really needed much control. I wasn’t a gunner in school. I let my husband make most of the financial decisions, and if my kids have a solid reason for why they should miss their bedtime, then fine, stay up. In six years, I’ve never locked my front door.

So why don’t I have privacy issues? (1) Maybe it’s because I’m on the unpublished side of PUBLICATION. It’s like there’s the PUBLICATION fence. One side is Published. The other is Unpublished. Maybe if I were published and had a wider readership, then I’d care more about privacy. Further, since I’m not published, I’m still getting to know the business and those within it. Social Media is a wonderful way to do that. But, I really don’t think being published will change my non-issue. (I can only hope that someday I’ll find out.) I think it’s just my nature to be open and have that “whatever” attitude. (2) Maybe my lack of issues are because I just like attention. And people. People really fascinate me. Probably this is why I like to write, you know, about people. I like conversation about what’s on TV, I like seeing family photos, and I don’t mind silencing the yappers who are all Jesus-y and political. That’s everywhere, and worse when it’s in person. I LOVE being able to turn people off of my screen.

I mean, it’s called Facebook. It’s about making yourself public. It seems to me that the potential to make money and market yourself (to readers/potential readers) is equal to the potential of Facebook doing the same with any information I provide. I guess you could argue that marketing gets confused with relationship, but that’s getting a little full of ourselves, isn’t it? To me, a Facebook friendship is just a connection. What you do with the connection makes for a relationship.

Published by jody sparks

Jody Sparks Mugele spent her first career in marketing writing and leading teams of writers and editors. After her son came out as transgender in 2015, she dedicated herself to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. For two years, she led the Indianapolis regional chapter of PFLAG, a nationally renowned LGBTQ+ advocacy group. She has given many conference talks about parenting trans kids, healthcare in the trans community, and suicidality among LGBTQ+ youth. And with GenderNexus, an Indianapolis-based advocacy organization, she created programming and led support groups to work with parents to help their children through all aspects of gender transition. She recently moved to Northeast Georgia where she is excited to develop opportunities to continue to strongly and proudly advocate for LGBTQ+ members of our society. She also LOVES kitschy Christmas crafting!

65 thoughts on “Why Don’t I Have Issues With Privacy?

  1. I understand why you feel this way, and in some ways we’re very similar (kid’s bedtimes? hello 12am if there’s a reason). In others, notsomuch (doors and windows locked, alarm on, every night here). I wonder if both of us see the privacy issues as something of a spin on the luck wheel — bad spin, you draw a nut who stalks you, good spin, you make new friends who think you’re awesome in far away places like Texas ;).

    I definitely walk a line on this one. Within the past week or so, I’ve had a disappointing and scary amount my facebook “friends” pop up supporting/liking that “let’s all wish the President dead!” FB group (I hid every one of them so I don’t have to hear it, and also blocked them from getting any of my updates… if they ask, I’ll tell them why, but otherwise I’m generally non-confrontational, especially with idiots). The problem here is, these are people I actually know (some of them I haven’t seen in 20 years, but still). What if I get known and have people I don’t “know” as my FB “friends” — or on my blog? Do I turn comments off or do I remove offensive comments… and we’re assuming here I mean offensive to ME? What if that makes them angry, and they know my kids’ and cats’ names and where I live… But then really, you can find this on anyone now.

    Let’s keep talking about this, because I think it’s going to become more of an issue, at it gets (frankly) more and more impossible to live in the world and keep your privacy. Perhaps we’re moving towards a point where people realize that if the person they’re harrassing/stalking can be found, so can they. The majority of people who’d harrass from the privacy of an online presence won’t do it if they can’t remain anonymous. The others? Maybe it really is luck of the draw.

    1. Tammara, I think the likelihood of actually being stalked in scary illegal way is just sooooooooo slim that I don’t want to waste time worrying about it. And the Facebook kind of stalking is just clutter that can be hidden. What would I do if you hadn’t found me!?!

  2. If someone really wants to stalk you or find out things about you that badly they’ll find a way to do it even if you have “friends only” on your privacy settings. Pictures? There’s that clever print screen and :poof: your photo is not your own anymore.

    The only person I didn’t want to see my FB was the clam that was Boufonda-ing my boyfriend in college (along with half the football team) but she’s friends with friends and I know if she asked SOMEONE would show her. And in truth I really don’t care that much. I just don’t like the cheater cheater pumpkin eater.

  3. I don’t have a problem with it either. It’s was your choice to put your private information on the net, and nothing is ever safe there, and nothing is really GONE.

    Also, I don’t mind, because I don’t think that three websites having some of your personal information would change much. As far as I know, half of my FB friends don’t know about this personalization thing.

  4. We all have different levels of privacy that we feel comfortable with (and that’s ok). What bugs me about facebook is that they will change things up, without being straightforward about it. We always have to find out in a roundabout way that we have to go back and change our settings 😛 .

    1. Valerie, that’s true and it feels sneaky. But all technology updates and upgrades and leaves it up to us to figure out the new technology works. Facebook technology just happens to a social kind of technology.

  5. I’m one of those Jesus-y type people but can I still be your friend on Facebook? I don’t stalk anyone that I know of and I would like to follow you career as a writer.

    I hope you make it, you have the humor and an evident love of writing.

    Good luck! and may the Schwartz be with you.

  6. Yeah I get what you mean. I specialize in social media and don’t have the same privacy concerns as others. but then again, I don’t post personal stuff on social sites.

  7. Very interesting article. After some reflection, I realized that I don’t want to live in a world where people are alright with putting pictures of their children up for others to see. Sure, if someone wants to stalk you or hurt you they can find a way. But why make it easier for them? All social media sites are easy to hack and I care more about my kids than to make it easier for someone to find us by knowing what my home looks like, where I work, who I’m in a relationship with, and what my kids look like. I just deleted my FB account and will do so on all other sites like it. Your article was the final inspiration I needed to do so. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for speaking up. sometimes the other-side needs to be expressed and I get it completely. Loved the comments about your kids, me too. Life gets so much better when we can relax. It would be nice for folks to take a deep breath and look inside to find out what’s real instead of what the world is telling them. Thanks again!

  9. It always amuses me that people complain this. I had a friend who blogged once on MySpace that the choices that she made in her life were private and everybody needed to mind their own business. This was after weeks of blogging her business all over everyone the moment she could.

    When you put it out there, you are giving power over your thoughts and words to someone else. People need to just deal with it.

    Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful blog.

    The Teacher

  10. I think social media’s just made it easier for people who like to share to, well, share. You can get a wider audience these days if you want it.

    As for me, the only people who could find my profile were people with a college account (they added this option back when they first opened it to high schoolers), and it’s still not searchable. Which is just the way I want it.

  11. We’re still living in the strange age of “identity theft” (another ridiculous idea that’s worthy of its own conversation, like how people place too much faith in numbers and paperwork?) and whatnot; I think that has at least partially influenced people into being so freaked out when it comes to privacy issues. Even though, being realistic, most of us have never taken the extra 3 minutes to read facebook’s privacy policy either. I think this is just another one of those issues that people like to be up-in-arms about, even without a full understanding.
    I personally couldn’t care less about what facebook does with my pictures or my date of birth. And I don’t put my jobs or my address or my phone number in my profile. Everything else, as far as I’m concerned, is fair game.

    Good post, great blog. I wish you luck with the getting published thing.

    1. Thanks, Stir-Fried Dinosaur. Even WITH a full understanding, people in general like to complain. I like to complain too. I guess I just prefer other subjects. Like being unpublished. Man, would I prefer the other side of the fence. The grass must be greener! 😉 Thanks for the good luck wishes!

  12. I don’t have an issue either bcuz our info is all over the internet and publicized anyways. But facebook IMO is a security hazard but its the only way to make friends nowadayz and to keep in touch. I dun trust the privacy system implemented in facebook. Security can only do so much, it can always be broken.


  13. Jody: I am so pleased I found your blog. Having been through the publishing nightmare myself, I can relate. Your writing style and sense of humor are wonderfully refreshing.

    I’m part of the way there with you on privacy. I have to get scanned every time I go through airport security, which is fairly often, and I keep hoping that there will be a program where I can give them DNA samples, retina scans, fingerprints, whatever they want — just to get me through the friggin’ process.

    Where we differ is on the line between privacy and security. For example, where I live — and I think in most cities — it’s not safe to leave your doors unlocked. I often refuse to give my social security number out just because it’s on a printed form. I don’t worry about privacy — I worry about this access being used in harmful ways against me.

    But regardless, congratulations on a delightful blog.

    All the best.

    1. You make an excellent point on security vs. privacy. And when I move (soon) I’ll live where I need to lock my door. But, I’ll still be on Facebook. Thanks for the comment.

  14. I agree with you. I’m also a writer and I feel like if nobody knows you, how will they get interested in your writing? I’m Jesus-y too, but that’s my writing genre, so it works for me 🙂

    Now, I don’t post my personal information through social media or my blog. My name is in FB,but I don’t put my address and phone number and e-mail address. I guess I’m naive enough to think that my chances of being stalked by someone online are as good as someone from my neighborhood. So I guess as long as I don’t put it out there, it should be fine.

    Good article and thanks for sharing!

    1. Maybe I’m naive for thinking the odds of getting stalked are so slim. I don’t know. I just think the odds of building great connections with people is not worth losing. Thanks for visiting, rising writer.

  15. Oh you are absolutely right!!! You can after control what to say and what not to say. I think so long as you are honest and have nothing to be hide /afraid of….it doesn’t matter to me..Good piece. Well said!!!

  16. To me privacy is like, the right to be left alone with myself when I want to… And to show what I choose to!

    Facebook gives you a chance to display shat you just want to! 🙂 That’s why I love it!

  17. what are saying you are popular look at how many comments you gathered LOL.

    My take on this whole privacy thing…. if you dont want it known then don’t put it out there. I put my children pictures up but very rarely call them by name and my information is usually blank. I agree dont grumble if you share it with the world because the world is going to look!

    I think you would be a great writer… I read to day that you have to believe to achieve!

  18. As technology advances, I believe the way people think of privacy will change. Everything we do will be out there since we will be bloging, facebooking, tweating, etc. it all, but of course, privacy will become very important since there will be more avenues to identity theft. It is a very important balance, and I think that it will be a very interesting next few decades.

  19. I enjoyed your blog, Jody, and wanted to congratulate you–you ARE “published” already, since we, the public, are reading what you’re writing and distributing. And I send my best wishes that you will soon be receiving compensation for doing so. Keep writing…and it will come. In Lak’ech Ala K’in, Michelle

  20. I just filled in the little form that is necessary in order for me to post this comment. Of course, I thought ‘which email should I use?’ Should I use my real name? Hmmm. maybe I’ll go use the cover of the dead actor Don Knotts? I have been spending so much time figuring out how to impersonate him on th web. Maybe this is a chance to add another web clue to his fictional persona. There are many possibilities on the web and I’m fine with someone impersonating their favorite star as long as they have manners. People’s inner rude child is always popping up. I have multiple facebook friends that will try to chat with me. I don’t chat. My profile says “me no chat”. That’s clear isn’t it? Then they write angry notes “I am trying to chat with you stop ignoring me”. Since I am very male I don’t worry so much about my privacy as my boundries……..

  21. The author of this article is living in La La Land, the type of sheeple who thinks everything is pink and fluffy until one day when someone comes into her unlocked house and takes their children. Then the OP would be screaming about how could this happen in today’s society!!!?!

    Putting your kids names of Facebook is a HUGE NO NO! – even if you can’t see the problem its disrespectful to them at the very least and opens up so many possibilities to stalking.

    EVERYONE should be concerned about privacy, especially online, because to not is to be taken advantage of by businesses and other unscrupulous people.

    So you see, ‘privacy’ is not a cool buzz word of the moment or something to rebel against like the, OP seems to be doing, its a basic human need and right and one which we MUST hold on to at all costs.

    1. Oh, Alex. If that is your real name. Why would anyone want to come into my house and take my kids? They’re too busy worrying about, “Did I lock my door?”

  22. Tamarra good luck with the publishing editors are tough,but mean the best to you! You’ll have a great time getting there, and once you are there it’s a continuous wild ride!

    Good luck!

  23. Jody,
    I’ve kept out of things like Spacebook and making my own blog. You find yourself becoming too involved, too stretched.
    Having greatly enjoyed writing for so many years, I’ve learned you can burn yourself up with too much, as though, you empty the tank, and need to give it time to fill back up and be refreshed. Then you’re burning to go again, and the ideas come streaming in, and writer’s block never assails you. The mind is just like any muscle. Long walks in fields and woods, along river’s edges, around lakes, help a great deal too. How can one be creative, if caught up with too much ?

    1. Colin, Thanks for contributing to the comments. I think you are definitely right about becoming too involved. If that’s the reason someone wants to leave blogging, Facebook, etc., I can understand that easily. I’ve found blogging to be a nice distraction while waiting for news on books. A nice satisfaction for the desire for my work to be read. I’ll be interested to see how all this changes and evolves if I get to the other side of the fence. I’m sure it will be a more delicate balance and the way I spend my time will change.

  24. I definitely understand how you feel Jody. I grew up in a little town where everyone knew your business and you where strange if you locked your doors I liked it that way, city living was hard to get used to.
    I have had people who have issues with my being open and “out” via facebook and people have given me crap over shamelessly plugging my blog via fb to get more readers. I tell all of them the same thing “If you don’t like it you don’t have to read it” Thank you for your blog it was refreshing and very bracing. 🙂

    1. Thanks Elisabeth. I took a look at your blog too. You write well! Good luck with your degree. I’m not sure how you found my blog, but I realized we’re both in Michigan. I promote my blog on Facebook and Twitter too. Of course I agree: Nothing to ashamed of. The point of writing is to be read, at least in part.

  25. I don’t know, is it expected that a person have an account on Facebook? I know several people who have them, but is it me or is it really just a waste of time/effort? I guess it’s an age thing, as an older person the need to “network” electronically just does not connect in my head. Any observations/information/comments welcomed, BTW.

    1. Andrew, I’m no expert but I’m sure you can live without a Facebook account. I like it because I can easily keep in touch with old friends as well as promote my writing. I’m also sure people have been successful with both of those things – relationships and marketing – without Facebook.

      1. Thanks. For a while there I was starting to feel as though people regarded me as some sort of knuckle-walking caveman because I wasn’t a Facebook account holder. Now, back to writing……

  26. Hey…Imma learner too…so let me keep this video on your wp page in the comments or even write another wp about this and pass along my this youtube video to help me win a 3000.00 scholarship it ends august 1st 2010…Thank You Craig Hefner

  27. I have two issues with Facebook privacy thing. I don’t like having to opt-out, rather than opt-in to giving information to third-party sites. I appreciate that Facebook has to make money, but there will be plenty of people who want publicity, especially if they are content producers, such as yourself, or have any kind of business, who will want to opt in.

    Also, I think one would be very prudent to think carefully about giving access to information about birthplace, relative’s names, etc. With enough personal information, criminals can more easily impersonate you.

    As I work to balance these issues with my desire to use Facebook with my blog to promote my business as a Realtor, I have to tread carefully. Many of my facebook friends are very political in a way that might alienate some potential clients. Also, I feel the threat of global warming is so paramount that it should transcend politics and I want to blog on that too. I am trying to figure out the best way to progress…. I am thinking I need to build a new “business-only” profile that is separate from my existing one, but I am not sure what this will mean….

    Anyways, thank you for bringing up this topic and best of luck on your writing career.

    1. Best of luck in your Realtor career, Aaron. Like Valerie said, everyone has their own level of comfort with boundaries. Maybe a business only profile would be helpful, but how much business are you getting from Facebook, really? It’s hard to measure.

  28. Wow Jody,

    Thanks for keeping it real… half the people out there secretly wish for fame (abnormally high publication volumes and extreme public scrutiny).

    When it comes down to it, having zillions of folks chasing you down the street while you shop for groceries might not be as appealing once you have a chance to experience it.

    “New world order” for want of a more apt phrase and the general Orwellian experience is already upon us as a global culture.

    When you combine the web cam in every laptop with the patriot act that means its already here. the govt is watching… that’s no secret.

    Now the real cruncher is when private corporations want access to our data. What’s the difference between the government and private corporations anyways? Both exhibit fairly sociopathic behavioral patterns.

    The water is getting hotter, my fellow froggies. Shall we jump out?

    Where too?

    Unless you are already famous, hence pseudonym, with genuine narcissistic personal issues, I am with Jody, there is nothing that needs to be kept private.

    For better or for worse, it will be televised…

  29. I feel the same way honestly.
    I have my full name and address and pictures out there, and don’t really care either way.
    It’s been like this for well over 6 years and nothing has happened.

    As long as you don’t act like a complete douche and piss people off all the time, you’re gonna be fine.
    In the end I control every bit of info that is out there about me, both by how I behave in public but also by what I put out myself.

  30. Jody,
    Still, most truly amazing people never bothered about anything except what they were actually creating or discovering.
    The austerity of deep seclusion, is what brings out true genius, be it in maths, science, music, art, writing. Just read the life stories of a few people you really admire.

  31. I don’t really have a problem with it either, although I don’t like it when they have big upgrades on facebook and basically reset privacy settings. I am careful with posting things online in general, though. Yes, I have a blog about ..me. But I keep it on a level where I don’t name friends, nor very detailed things about myself. On facebook I use my full name, but I use fb for being in touch and to get contacted. So it seems natural to do it like that, and I try to keep my page clean and “serious”. I mean, if someone wants to stalk me, they can just look in the phonebook and find both my number AND address.

  32. Good article. I, too, am an aspiring writer who hopes to see her novels on a store shelf someday (And not in the discount/last chance section). Having already been published, then dropped like a sizzling platter of bacon at a drunken tailgate party due to an economy wearing ‘Ode de Toillette”, I understand how difficult it is to get you work out there, and be noticed.

    I wish you luck in getting published –staying published– and showing the members of Humanity whos’ paths you cross that the world is what we make of it. If we are paranoid, Paranoia reigns. If we are sans empathy, emotional numbness reigns. If we bring fear, … well, you get the idea.

    I rarely use Facebook or any other network site simply because I haven’t had the time to pee, let alone type. I’m writing this now because I was inspired to do so, even though I am dog tired and punch-drunk from an exceedingly long rennaissance faire weekend. There, see? A little about myself in that sentence; I am a historical reinactor. That wasn’t so hard.

    I agree with you on many things regarding privacy, and it reminds me of something that happened during a game of silent ball in the 2nd grade (*insert Flashback ala Wayne’s World* That’s right, kiddies. This was before the Internet. OooooOoooooo). We were playing inside during a rain storm, tossing a ball around–silently– from classmate to classmate. If anyone here knows how to play ‘Silent Ball’, then you know the rules. During the game, these two boys kept talking to each other, and were told by the teacher to be silent, or they would sit it out. Well, of course they didn’t listen. Then, to spite the teacher’s attempt to keep the fun of the game going, they threw the ball at a shelf, and knocked over some books. Their laughter and bitter mirth was soon hushed when the ball was taken away, deflated, and we were all told we could not play ‘Silent Ball’ again for the rest of the semester.

    It only took two brainless, neanderthalic morons to ruin a good thing for the rest of the class.

    The world isn’t going to change itself. It’s the actions of the worlds inhabitants that make it what it is.

  33. I found your site from the WordPress.com page which has several sites that are strong enough to make the page. Your site is wonderful and beautiful.


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