Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Unwanted privacy

After enjoying Bellingham's clothing optional ride where exposure is cherished, I found a troubling message on my answering machine. It was from one of my sisters who lives in another part of the state. The message went:

"I haven't seen you on Facebook recently." "The last post was May 31." "Just wondering if you were okay."

I returned the call to assure her that I was still alive. My Facebook wall had gone dark to everyone except me. Turns out I had accidentally hit the wrong button and set the default on my posts to private. Privacy settings are close to the log out button so it's easy to get into that screen by accident. Everything I had wanted to share, since May 31, was met with deathly silence.

My sister realized that she may have overreacted. Wondered if I had mysteriously disappeared, taken ill or had an accident on my bike. She did mention that she had found a few more recent posts on Google Plus so she was less worried after that. She comments that she enjoys my posts.

I reset my privacy option to "public" and then re posted the things I'd wanted to share all along. So much for helping to promote the naked bike ride on my wall.

It might have not made that big a difference anyway as most of my local friends already knew about the ride from other means. Lots of folks were networking it all around town on their various social media tools, including Facebook. This was also a year that major media, such as Bellingham Herald, Cascadia Weekly, KISM and KBAI Radio spread the word. The ride was a great success.

Privacy isn't always a good thing, if one wants to have engagement with the community, promote a business or share one's opinion. As for the economy and business, this was the first year that Bellingham's naked ride got contributions from local businesses. Raffle prizes, ice cream and other things that promoted the businesses and helped with expenses. The ride is getting more established as a new part of our culture; like the naked painted bike ride in Seattle's Fremont District.

See below.

Art I recently found on Facebook.

I have nothing against privacy, however. It's just that I haven't been that worried about it while the rest of our nation broils in controversy about the NSA data mining. I've been more worried about not having a voice. One can say, "if the government is listening, I've got some opinions."

When my Facebook wall went dark, I wondered why people suddenly stopped liking and commenting on my posts.

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