I remember hearing online advertising described as the art of walking the line between anticipating customers desires and freaking them out.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that certain corporations will know what I am. Google and WordPress, certainly, have more than enough information about Kia to know what sort of things she spends her private time doing. Both are also party to information on her true identity, but are discrete with this information.
Google, for example, loves to show both Kia and my vanilla account plenty of ads offering assistance writing publishing this book they think I’m writing, but nothing whatsoever related to the “research” that is going into my writing.
Amazon, bless them, insist that Kia reads Jim Butcher and only Jim Butcher. Had I not tacked a Desden Files novel onto an order of more salacious material to qualify for free shipping, they would probably be recommending nothing at all based on my previous purchases.
On the other hand, we have Facebook. I’d recently begun connecting with spanky friends there, and had only added three before, right on the homepage, I was asked “do you know Dommy Darko?” He was not even connected with any of my newly-facebooked friends.
That line I mentioned above? Left behind in the dust.
But perhaps I was not as freaked out as I should have been. A bit startled, yes, but not so much that I’ve changed anything I do- online or off. Back when I first created Kia, I accepted that I would eventually be outed to some extent- likely due to carelessness or ignorance on my own part. I was in my early twenties at the time- statistically speaking I will slip up eventually if I continue what I’ve been doing (and I have no intention of stopping!).
I will take reasonable precautions, but I’m not going to let the chance of being outed stop me from engaging with the community.
Given a choice between pride and paranoia, I’ll choose pride all the way.