I am fascinated by how we know, learn and propagate information into the icy aging of our future. This week I had a flood of email in my Facebook Inbox — from only my friends in Germany — suggesting the social networking service was running out of server space.
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I’m never at a loss learning how many young people are uneducated in the proper way to communicate online with those outside their immediate generation. Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed kids in the 18-20 year old age range have terrible email manners. They write, you reply — they never acknowledge your response — so you’re left to wonder if you got stuck in a Spam folder or if you’re just being ignored. Kids today have no idea why sending back an “Ack” is intrinsically important in continuing the hoary, but vital, tradition of effective online communication.
I have had my Gmail account for nearly six years now — thanks to an early invitation from master publisher David Boles. I chose the username “gordond” because I wanted to see if it was available. For many years I only chose the username ‘gdavides’ based on the assigned username I got at Peddie — it was based on the first letter of my first name and the following seven letters of my last name.
Every single day someone somewhere is violating your email privacy. The violators might not even intend on penetrating your cone of silence, but their carelessness can lead to no other end than virtually bleeding you out. You might think your email address is secure, but if someone has access to your private information and then includes those personal markers in a misdirected email intended for you, but sent to someone else — any sense of security you have worked to protect is inherently broken.
Tom Casady is currently the Chief of Police for Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child of Lincoln, I enjoy reading his fantastic blog called, “The Chief’s Corner.” I was recently alarmed when I read an article written by Tom that rehashed the offensive/silly/inappropriate email usernames people use to inquire about employment with the Lincoln Police Department. I was shocked to see the email usernames of applicants revealed in public on Tom’s blog because that is in the least a violation of privacy for those making an inquiry, and perhaps, even a more serious ethical violation of a vested public city official. I was unable to find the recent article that shocked me, but doing a search on Tom’s site led me to a dead link for this page written on December 2, 2008 where Tom Casady revealed live email usernames of the inquirers — figuring our the entire email address is not that hard and often doing a Google search on a unique username alone can reveal a lot. I have blurred the email addresses contained in that article:
Imagine writing without writing words, without writing letters. Somehow getting out your thoughts without a coherent system of letters that can be easily recognized and understood by passers-by. Most people do this kind of writing without intending to just about every time their pens run a bit dry and they want to get them going again. Go to any stationary store and walk over to the pen section and you will find that there are scratch pads that are full of such writing.