Rethinking The Whole Transparency Thing

I’m a pretty transparent person in the "it’s easy to stalk me" sense of the term. My address and phone number is on my webpage and I’m happy to post just about anything that I don’t think would anger people on my blog or my website.

Once at college, I was at a party and I met and started chatting with an attractive girl for the first time but whom I was marginally acquainted with (we had a discussion-based class the year before). Things were going great and, once I had revealed my geeky-disposition, conversation stumbled onto computer mediated communication. I tried to support one of my positions with a story about when I was on BBSs in my youth. She stopped and said that she knew. Completely surprised, I asked her how she could possibly know personal events from when I was twelve and living a country away. She admitted, sheepishly, that she’d read it on my website.

True enough, I had included this particular anecdote in largely autobiographical The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth: My Story of Unlearning which I wrote for the small Indian publication Vimukt Shiksha and had posted on my website. As you might imagine, it caught me a little off guard when I found out that this "near strange" had read my website and it threw the "chatting up" plan for a loop.

Now I expect some people to read my website; I wouldn’t bother putting things online otherwise. That said, I do not expect the girls I meet at parties to have read my website.

I’ve reflected a little bit on why I was shocked. I think I’m less worried about revealing embarrassing information or wrong information and more worried people will know all my good stories and examples. The worst part of this whole thing is that since then, this situation has been of my favorite stories and now it’s on my website.

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