Stalkers are disturbing. Especially ones that choose to use this forum as a way to harass or disturb people other than me. Which, by the way, is why I typically use codenames for people I refer to on this site; because, as public as a universally-accessible website is, there is a certain amount of anonymity inherent in it as well, which is important for the other people in my life. At times, though, even that is not good enough due to the aforementioned stalker types. These are the ones that troll through your site looking for clues, putting things together, and then, inexplicably, using this information with the purpose of harming others, even if unintentionally.
It’s a strange pastime.
When I started this site almost 6 years ago, at the very beginning of Blogger’s (then Pyra’s) existence, I had a decision to make. Be open about who I am and publish it as such, or write under a pseudonym and never give clues to my reality. I chose the former while many of my contemporaries chose the latter. In my unscientific estimation, in fact, I would say that new blogs were split roughly half-and-half: anonymous and public.
Of course, at the time, blogs were still a very underground thing, and, only a small handful of the population would even recognize the word. It was a tight community of writers, artists, early-adopters, or otherwise category of
nerds people that were all stretching their legs at the same time, trying to figure out how to walk. After 9.11 that world exploded and we all broke into a run.
What is my point?
I’m not wide-open on this site, but I’m nearly so. Due to my readership, and the people I know who frequent this place, I don’t write too terribly much that is really personal; but there is enough here to know a little something about me. You can find my name (David Kleeman), you can figure out where I live (LA), what I do (product designer), what I’ve read, where I’ve been, and on and on… and I don’t mind. If that really interests you knock yourself out. You can also, if you put in the detective work and happen to know me by no more than a couple degrees of separation, figure out who some of the other people in my life are. Friends, family, acquaintances… they’ve all been referenced at one time or another on this site, and if you really put in the due diligence, you may even be able to figure out exactly who they are. And this is what bothers me, especially when this information is used against them.
Of course, the argument could be made that it is my own fault… that the codenames and infrequent pictures are not enough if I want to protect other people. This is true. I depended on a certain level of respect and decency from the reading public, and that is my mistake.
So do me a favor, won’t you all? If you do know me, or the people I know, leave them out of it. It’s disturbing enough to have my friends ask me about things that I never talked about to them, but described on this site… and I’ve been doing this for years. For the uninitiated, it can only be even more disturbing, near frightening… and the bottom line is, even if this is a public site, it’s none of your business (don’t worry, I still love you).