Posts Tagged ‘ off the grid ’

New technology, new questions

Usta be, you didn’t wanna be found, you didn’t give anyone your address or phone number. And that was that. Now? It ain’t upta you.

When I was living in Europe, I had to do the usual things, like open up bank accounts, get telephones, the usual hassles that I never got used to, but were part and parcel of my life. One of the things I discovered there, thinking one bank branch was as good as another was that it wasn’t. Why? Simple: your personal information belonged to you, not the bank. So Branch A couldn’t do business with you, even tho the name on the door was the same as Branch B. Really? Back in the Good Ol’ US of A, everybody knew more about you than you did. Why? In this country, the person does not own his personally identifiable information, somebody else does, and that somebody else can buy and sell it – but you can’t.

So, now, you can’t hide – unless you’re “off the grid” as they say (I have no idea who “they” are, but I hear this a lot so, there must be a huge group of “they”). But, if you are incognito (maybe “incommunicado” is the right word there?), then you’re not reading this blog and a few other joys of modern life (I mean this blog is a joy, not the inability to read it – but you knew that, right?).

I have finally succumbed to new technology, and I am very much “on the grid”; and spend an awful lot of time “housekeeping” all of this wonderful “connectedness.” I think I might have finally gotten to the point where I am pretty much up-to-date on things, and I went looking for old friends. Just curious, y’know?

And I found an old “flame”. Pretty hot flame for a short time, too. But, that was then and this is now. Great, so now I’ve found her, what to do?

Like I said at the beginning (I’ll wait while you look back at those unforgettable words), it is pretty difficult to hide these days, and since “networking” has become synonymous with the internet (this blog being just one miniscule example), if you value your career, you hafta be on the grid. Why? ‘Cause that’s where people look, that’s why. And you want them to look. Look, look, look.

Maybe. Unless it’s an old flame. Then, maybe not.

Thus the quandary: Do I take full advantage of the technology to say “How ya doin’?” or do I keep my distance. After all, since I’m on the grid, she could find me (maybe already has) if she wanted. So, since I haven’t heard from her, she obviously doesn’t want to resume any sort of contact (hell, she was great friend – she’s the reason I passed my accounting classes when we were both studying for our MBAs – “left drawer assets, right drawer debits” – or was it the other way round?)

What I don’t need is another Facebook Friend to tell me what they had for lunch, or how long they slept last night. What I would like is a friend of the old-fashioned persuasion: somebody to talk with. Yep, that’s it.

I know, I know: what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like I can damage a relationship that no longer exists. But, I am “traditional” enough to respect her right to her privacy; after all, I’m not selling vinyl siding (or whatever the daily phone calls from Area Code 702 are about – I don’t even know anybody in Las Vegas).