Friday, June 29, 2018

Privacy Policies

Thanks to the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) that went into effect on May 25, my inbox, for weeks, had a whole slew of updates to policies and terms and conditions. It was almost hilarious to see a whole page of similar subject headings from my subscribed apps and accounts. After the initial onslaught, then came the random pop-ups to inform users of 'privacy/cookie policy & user agreement' and whatever else on whichever website I was browsing through, and it's still happening now.

I was more amused than annoyed. As much as I’m someone who reads terms of service, I’m not very bothered to do that if these newly drafted terms of service run into twenty pages. The lawyers drafting these are seriously in need of a language clean-up. Basically, I’ve probably agreed to let these sites and comapnies track whatever the hell they want from my usage patterns.

Giggled when I came across Karen Chee's 'Updated Privacy Policy for Being My Friend' published in The New Yorker's Daily Shouts on June 23, 2018. Since corporations and websites are updating their privacy policies, then the humans should too. LOL. If you're not a subscriber, I'll save you a click. Keep your quota of free articles for something more substantial.

The article began in the typical tone of updating terms of service blah blah blah and the introductory paragraph end with, "If you wish to avoid elimination from my friend group, please respect my updated privacy policies, listed below." The comment continues in numbered format like all service agreements, and the article ends with "If you continue to interact with me online or in real life as of June 25, 2018, then you implicitly agree to these terms. Thanks, and good vibes!"

It's quite funny, doesn't over-complicate friendship, keeping the tone of the article light-hearted, and it probably appeals to a younger uhh age group. But yeah, even when we're much older, we're still capturing screen-shots of arguments and mostly funny lines from our text messages to one another in order to share with someone else. Which then, begets the idea of, nothing is really secret. We should be aware of that. What we put into writing and speak out aloud, we'll have to stand by it if confronted about it. We should, and not deny that we didn't say that.

3. If we are friends who text, you must never screenshot my texts to share with other people. Texting is the only time I bare my vulnerable soul to another person, and I trust that you will not take advantage of this. (Note: If you are an ex-boyfriend, I will absolutely screenshot whatever you text me and share it with all of my friends, family, and social-media followers.)

But yes, we have 'privacy policies' when it comes to friends, isn't it? There's a secret, private rule of who you keep and hold dear, who you tolerate, who you stalk (on social media lah), and who you avoid. (Or it could be an open secret among your social circle.) Well, I have this rule. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤫😬 I certainly don't go around announcing it, but it's pretty obvious who I hang out with regularly; these are people whom I love. I have no need to tell them what to do or what to say. These faeriefolk know what to say and what to do. Importantly, they somehow know how to handle me and my desire for solitude. Helloooo, extreme introvert alert! I'm past the point of keeping up with appearances. I don't even bother texting greetings or take up other people's genuine offers of lunch or coffee.

Then, there's this blog. I'm well aware that this is a public platform. If I want to keep things secret, then I wouldn't be blogging at all. OMG, I've been blogging for like a decade! Since I create personal content, and my opinions won't affect my job and ahemmm, place in society, so to speak. The blog is intended to keep in touch with friends who matter, and as an introvert, I don't particularly feel like texting the friends or talking to them that much. Why bombard them with trivia when there's already plenty of that populating everyone's world? I ask the faeriefolk to check in with the blog occasionally. I'm glad you do. For strangers who still read, I'm not bothered either way, since it's just like reading fiction, and for those who are friendly, I'm grateful. If people I avoid or maintain distance from, or have lost touch with, somehow stumble upon this blog, so be it.


Liverella said...

Social media has allowed me to receive lovely recommendations and most importantly at my darkest hour, a few words of comfort that only a stranger can give... for that, I am thankful to have come across this social sphere of yours :)


imp said...

as I do for yours, Liv. I like seeing your photos pop up on IG, and if you're still writing, i'd read yours too! it's nice to read a stranger yet not a stranger's words and share fun trivia without all the worries of offending a 'friend' whom I oddly might not even know their preferences without the help of social media.