This is a story about IT security...
Ordinary people - non tech - believe that IT security is so good they can say WHATEVER THEY WANT and it'll be safely protected from prying eyes. What I'm really saying is, if you were to look at - hypothetically - a load of so-called private mail and messsages which have been exchanged electronically, you'd be horrified by what you saw. Somebody can easily act all sweet and innocent, believing that the ugly truth of what they say in so-called privacy is protected.
Before I continue, I must state for the record that I'm not a hacker, I don't hack people's accounts and I don't use my IT skills to invade anybody's privacy.
Even the least tech-literate amongst us uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo... to name but a few), Whatsapp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, plus of course THOUSANDS of websites. Each one of those things keeps a record of who you contacted and what you said. So, if you're talking shit behind somebody's back, there's a trail of digital evidence.
In the course of my job as an IT professional I SEE what people are doing with their computers and smartphones. I'm not spying. I'm not hacking. It's simply a hazard of the job. I make software. I put the software onto the devices. The devices get used by people. The data gets stored.... then at some point, I have to look at the data: not because I'm spying, but because I'm trying to fix a bug for somebody. Inadvertently I see all the SHIT that people send when they think nobody's going to see it except the intended recipient.
Now, I promise you as a software designer, I try to build systems where I couldn't see the shit you talk about people behind their backs. I really wish I DIDN'T KNOW just what a nasty bunch of people there are out there, and what nasty things they say and do. However, when you work with a lot of systems, and you didn't design and build them all yourself, you don't really get to avoid seeing the horrible stuff that people say to each other, about each other, and the nasty stuff they do.
People are really horrible, when they think they're in private; when they think they can get away with being nasty about somebody and they'll never find out.
Let's say that hypothetically, you wanted to know what somebody really thought about you. If you were determined enough, you could harvest every email, every message... everything. When you have all those Whatsapp messages, Messenger messages, personal emails, work emails, Twitter DMs, Instagram DMs etc. etc. then you - having completed the hypothetical exercise - you can see what a lot of shit got said behind your back; you really know what people think about you.
I suppose this is the curse of the IT professional: to know that people are two-faced, lying, cheating, nasty pieces of work. To see - in unambiguous clear plain text - that people are really really horrible is very upsetting.
I think that's what this blog is about. I wanted to get out of "inbox culture" and the world of 'private' correspondence, and live an authentic life. I've practically stopped using email, messaging apps or any other form of communication which is not 100% public and transparent. I don't talk about people behind their backs. I don't chat shit. I don't have private discussion groups, to convene and invent sob stories to elicit undeserved sympathy. I don't lie. I don't cheat. I'm not two-faced. If you send me a message, I'll reply - I won't forward it onto somebody else.
I suppose that's what being a nice person is: not chatting shit behind people's backs, not talking about them without them knowing, not saying stuff about them in secret.
As an IT professional with "great power" I'm constantly disappointed - people really are complete and utter shits, when they think they're safe to say what they really think, and do whatever the fuck they want, and the victim will never find out