Careless usage of the Internet leads to frustrating times…

Today, my friend, Huy asked me about the number of blogs I kept along the years. After telling him the answer, I became intrigued to google up my name, “Chrissy Phoong” in Google. To my surprise, I got back 10 webpages of my name (including duplicates, of course. I’m not a big-shot.)

Recently, I deleted my Facebook account and set up a new one to increase my privacy and to renew my browsing history. So, naturally, I was bothered that my name got so many hits.

I checked all the sites, one-by-one. Many of the Google entries were articles I wrote for blogs and my campus publications. However, there were some disturbing sites as well.

When I was much younger, I was very ignorant. I subscribed to fanlistings (I was crazy about a few animes :D), and wrote my real name. Now, I’m finding it extremely difficult to delete my name out of those websites because there are no ‘delete’ options. Thus, I had to email the webmasters, and for now, I’m awaiting their replies.

Another problem I found was that I was unscrupulous in subscribing to social media sites such as LivingSocial and Scribd. It would be of no big deal to delete my accounts in normal occasions except that I subscribed to these sites through Facebook. So, thus, I had to reactivate my Facebook account slotted for deletion to delete my accounts in these sites. It was a constant cycle of reactivation, and deletion. It was frustrating.

Lastly, I discovered that Twitter is releasing my name in many sites that I didn’t know of. For example, I found my ID in Whuffie Bank, and ImpluCorporation, which left me puzzled. I didn’t connect them to my Twitter account, and I couldn’t find any way to delete my ID. Sigh, how annoying. Anyway, I do know that Twitter is a public social site, so I’m pretty much resigned to the fact that I can’t control my image if I used Twitter.

It’s not as if I have anything to hide because I’m such a goody-two-shoes, but I would like to have more control about what information I want to release, and to which sites. I spent a few hours deleting useless accounts, and compiling my writing portfolio from the Internet. And, still I can’t totally control it.

This incident has taught me two lessons:

  • In the future, I have to be more aware of what I signed up for and which ID I want to use.
  • I think I ought to pick up more programming skills to allow me to use my computer more effectively and efficiently. I will start with Java.

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