One reason why you need to be online – it’s not what you think


Whenever I hear about people who don’t have a Facebook account I always think to myself, why?  Then I think, well good for them.  As someone who makes her living by being online (by day as a community manager and by night as a freelance writer) I admit that I spend way too much time online.  One night a week I try to come home and enjoy my evening without ever turning on my computer.  Freelance work does require some flexibility so unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.

My dad doesn’t even have email and I always ask him, why don’t you get online?  His answer is always the same “because I don’t want to be bothered.”  You have to admit he has a point.  Our lives were so much simpler before the internet explosion.  Now we can order our groceries online, find our perfect match through dating websites and go shopping for the latest trends without even leaving our couch.  These are all good reasons to be online, but this week I needed the internet for an whole other reason.

What’s in a bag?

Remember my trip to New York City a few weeks ago?  Well on the way home I left my back pack on the bus.  Less than 10 minutes after getting off at my stop I realized I didn’t have my back pack.  I immediately ran to the next bus stop in hopes of finding my bag, but my life just doesn’t work out like that.  When I got to the next bus stop it was a different bus and a different driver because the bus I was on was already headed back to the garage because the driver’s shift was over.  Just my luck.

I know it’s my fault that I left my bag on the bus, but it’s not my fault that 10 minutes later the transit commission couldn’t find my bag.  The total incompetence of municipal workers in my city is beyond my comprehension.  My bag had everything I bought in NYC inside including gifts for my boyfriend, my camera with pictures from my trip, my very expensive sunglasses as well as my house keys and now it’s gone.  When I told my mom she said “Oh don’t worry.  Nowadays with social media it’s hard to hide. Someone will look you up online and I’m sure they’ll contact you soon.”

Are you hiding online?

That is great logic.  So what’s the problem?  My online social media accounts are all under my pen name, not my legal name (which of course is the name on my travel documents inside the bag).  People always tell us to be careful about how much information we share online and I took that to an extreme.  Even my home phone number is listed under my boyfriend’s name.  As far as the world is concerned I don’t exist.  This makes it hard for someone to find me online.

As of today, three weeks later, my back pack has yet to be found and no one has contacted me – but how could they?

Photo from Flick

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