Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I get scared

Recently, I read this disturbing post and it made me worry about my privacy online. As authors, we are told  to "be real," to "share" and to "connect" with readers as well as others. And, honestly (when I  have the time) I rather enjoy doing those things. I love sharing real photos of my life, my baby, my studio. I love connecting to readers and hearing how they've read my book. The purpose of being an author/illustrator is that you want your ideas, your images, and (not to be cheesy, but truly) your heart to be shared. Otherwise, why bother to publish--just keep everything in a box under the bed!

But, I get scared. That same baby I love to share photos of--am I risking her safety? Am I risking my own safety, my family's safety by revealing--by "sharing" so much of our lives? I don't want to be afraid, but I don't want to be dumb, either.



Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

I have subjects I talk about publicly (writing, pop culture, cuisine, cats) and categories I don't. I wouldn't mention my husband's name (or share his photo) if he weren't a children's author, too. I ask that pics posted of book events at my home be limited to interior shots. I'm comfortable saying I support library financing, but I don't get into the particulars of candidates. I'll talk about my treadmill desk but not the more personal details of my health. But that's me. Everyone is going to have a different comfort zone. Much of this feels new. It can be scary. But we all have to risk to some degree just to be limited public figures in our society. Actually, I'm starting to think everyone has become public to some degree.

Meghan McCarthy said...

I'd say no. I don't care about photographs of myself... stories, etc. This is what you shouldn't let anyone know about-- your mother's maiden name, things like the street where you grew up (standard password questions), anything that would give someone enough info to steal your identity. Identity theft is a hard one to fix. No one cares what your home looks like or even what your baby looks like. If your daughter was a teen then that might be a different matter entirely. I'd never give out my phone number or have it listed anywhere online. Once that gets out it's a nightmare!

I pay a yearly fee to protect my identity because I worked with someone who stole SS#'s. So I'm very fearful of that.

A mistake I made a long time ago was when I ordered pain meds online. They asked for my phone number. Ever since then I've been getting phone calls from various places across the country asking for me to buy drugs. I CANNOT get it to stop. If I ask my phone company to put a block on the number they'll start calling from another number. They are calling from outside the US but use a number here to bounce off of. It doesn't matter if I'm on a do not call list. That thing is useless.

So those are my thoughts! I think what you want to say about yourself or your family is up to you and how comfortable you are with things. I think the more you talk about the more real you seem to people. I am one of those people who likes to share and be honest... but like I said, I won't give out my birthdate, phone number, and those sorts of things.