Social Media and Fear

I love social media. I'm embarassed at how much time I spend rolling around Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook, and that's not even looking at time spent on other corners of the web. 

But I can't go play on these social networks without fear tinting the corner of my mind. I triple check my privacy settings (damn you Facebook for making that a constantly changing game) and post then delete things a few seconds later when I panic about something I've said giving away where I am. 

Why is social media so scary?

For anyone whose been stalked or harassed it's a minefield. And there are some days where I can't work up the nerve to even post. The past week or two has been like that. 

When I was in college I made a profile on quiz site. It was basic information and a profile picture. Based on that picture, and me mentioning a local coffee shop, someone on that site found out who I was, where I worked, and where I lived. He found me.

Police were called. 

I spent my Spring Break curled up in the back of a friend's car sobbing and trying to figure out what to do.  

I live in constant fear of it happening again. Of the consequences being physical, not just emotional next time.

But I still love the digital world I live in. I love being able to talk to friends and people I admire from across a distance. Sharing pictures and thoughts makes me feel more connected in a field where the work is done alone. Writing can be a lonely place and social media helps take some of that away, especially for people like me who get all tongue-tied in front of strangers. 

The truth of the matter is: I don't think that fear will ever go away. But I refuse to let it control me. I'm still going to post stupid tweets, and share photos, and reach out into the world. 

Because I don't want fear to stop me from doing the things I love.