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To be a little bit freaked out how invisible some of my old friends are online?

(58 Posts)
NotDead Fri 11-Oct-13 04:33:37

Now I am reasonably findable online, and most places I have worked have had me in their Internet etc, but a lot of my old friends just have nothing online at all. . and I really do mean at all at least in terms of my stalking casual enquiries. .

How do they do it? (assuming they are not all dead)??

Latara Fri 11-Oct-13 11:40:15

My Mum wanted to be untraceable online and was annoyed to find that she's on 192.com - I suggest that everyone checks that and similar sites if you want to find anyone.
If people forget to tick a certain box when registering on the electoral roll then you can be found.

On a hilarious note, one of my cousins boasts about being untraceable because she's not on the electoral roll - then puts all her childrens' photos and personal updates on FB every day....

Mumsyblouse Fri 11-Oct-13 11:27:36

I am the same as heartisaspade for similar reasons, I can't hide myself because my work requires me to publicise my work and my photo is up there for all to see. Other than that, no visible footprint whatsoever, no photos etc. I prefer it that way and clearly lots of other people do too.

SilverApples Fri 11-Oct-13 11:24:30

If you are on the electoral roll, that information is available to anyone who knows your name and location.

forehead Fri 11-Oct-13 10:33:53

You may think that you are invisible, but if anyone wants to find out information about you, they can. It's not difficult
I do not have a facebook or a twitter account , yet my name appears on the internet. I really feel uncomfortable with this tbh.

NotDead Fri 11-Oct-13 10:21:16

Hello, Just ti clarify I said freaked out because I was genuinely wondering if some old friends had died without anyone letting me know and went online to hopefully be reassured. It's seems roughly that those who were most 'high profile' at uni etc seem to be the most secretive (or most dead. . ulp! ) but it's weird I'm trying to think what people would have done in the past to collect up their networks again.

I suppose philosophically I feel like the ease of the net makes losing touch feel more active and intentional that in would have been in the past.

Older friends of mine seem to have a long grapevine that means eventually they find a friend has died or had a great job from someone in that network. Now it seems that people are more passive about this stuff? ? Am I right?

LessMissAbs Fri 11-Oct-13 10:14:20

I asked some friends from uni about this recently. They said it is in case someone stalks them or some weird person contacts them. They don't have stalkers, they just think if they went online, its something that might happen. I find that odd, and a tad self-obsessed.

With an ex-boyfriend, it was because he had several women on the go at once and didn't want them to find out about each other. He was incredibly secretive, and memorably, despite being a recent graduate, claimed he "didn't know how to use Facebook".

I am very findable and it's not because I like to 'splash myself all over the place' as someone said above hmm

I'm findable because
1) I have a unique name (literally no one else in the world has it spelled this way)
2) I've never changed my name or used a different one
3) I've done a number of projects which have significant online 'footprints', such as conferences, writing articles, editing books

If you Google my name you get a load of projects I've worked on and a few pictures of my face. Not much point in trying to 'hide', though I don't post pictures of my child or any personal info other than on MN.

havatry Fri 11-Oct-13 10:06:35

I'm invisible online even with FB, not particularly intentionally. I have a very common name, having married and taken my dh's surname. There are hundreds of us.

TEErickOrTEEreat Fri 11-Oct-13 09:58:40

Also a male football coach with a name close enough to mine that Google says 'Did you mean __?'

TEErickOrTEEreat Fri 11-Oct-13 09:57:09

I forgot to mention that I don't care if I'm invisible and do nothing to be invisible. It's just luck.

I'd actually be rather less invisible, which I'm working on, since I make my living on SM and the internet.

But there's a woman with my name who appears to be semi famous, although I've never heard of her!

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Oct-13 09:51:11

I don't want to be invisible but I want a google search not to bring up FB first. But my work, which it does.

My name is unusual - if you type my name into Facebook I'm the only one that comes up. I have my privacy and security settings tight though. My Twitter account is under a pseudonym, as is my blog.

I never post photos of the children online either, it feels like it would be an invasion of their privacy.

usuallyright Fri 11-Oct-13 09:50:09

am a bit bemused as to why people are afraid of being found on Google and craving total anonymity. Unless they're on a witness protection scheme or avoiding a nasty abusive ex.
Do you walk down the street with a paper bag over your head? If not, you're out there. Visible to the public.

PeppiNephrine Fri 11-Oct-13 09:49:48

I hope you guys now that while you think you might be "totally invisible" its only on the surface?
Just because an idle google search doesn't throw up a lot doesn't mean thats someone with above basic skills can't find out rather a lot more.

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Oct-13 09:45:54

I'm still in touch with a few friends and someone sent photos from the school reunion. It was funny to see the pics. But in a way it was nicer before just to have the very vague memories from how they were at school.

We did laugh when we both could not remember one guy being at school, at all.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 11-Oct-13 09:45:01

And she obviously have had cosmetic surgery. Look so glamorous and different from when she was at school.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 11-Oct-13 09:44:00

sparklingbrook maybe because your life is interesting and successful? I'm a bit boring so have once or twice looked up what people I know from school are doing. I am fb friends with some of them, so others are my foaf (friend of a friend). I only look those up.

One of them quit law school and is now a famous wig designer for the stars. Stars that I actually know the name of. She just had an exhibition of her work. That's the one I found most fascinating. I'm not that interested in pictures of children and husbands. Got enough of those on my fb newsfeed grin

Sparklingbrook Fri 11-Oct-13 09:39:06

Am i a bit weird in that I don't wonder what people i went to school with years ago are doing now? I can barely remember any of their names.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 11-Oct-13 09:15:04

And also I haven't changed my name on marriage.

It's amazing what some of my old schoolmates are up to by looking at their profiles in social network.

NoComet Fri 11-Oct-13 09:14:45

Latara and poppy

Yes it's odd DH and I are pretty invisible because we have very common first and surnames. DH is on linked in and I do a voluntary job, but you'd need to know more than our name to find us.

Where as both are sisters addresses come straight up. Unusual surnames and slightly less common/more unusually spelt first names. Nothing very out there, but enough.

I know DSIS likes having a really simple email, no numbers or anything, but I think being that easy to find would freak me out.

My DDs also have very common names so, quite accidentally, can choose to be harder to trace.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 11-Oct-13 09:13:41

I'm fairly visible online with my previous job. I was a research fellow at a university. We all have websites and photos. Now I'm just another bot in a large corporation so I'm not online with that.

I think it depends on your job. Other things like social media is your choice.

Latara Fri 11-Oct-13 08:59:39

My name is unusual (I believe i'm the only one with my name in the whole of the UK) so i'm easy to find.

I'm the only person with my name on FB; and somehow I ended up on 192.com (I think it's if you don't tick the privacy box on the electoral register which my dad forgot to do one year when I lived at his house so i'm registered at his address.)

Also i'm on the NMC database.

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Oct-13 08:57:20

LinkedIn is amazingly good at providing links for anyone you've emailed etc I was surprised at the amount of old contacts it showed me down the side.

I cancelled the account because I do two things and don't want one group to see the other work.

maillotjaune Fri 11-Oct-13 08:51:40

I was invisible until I joined Linkedin purely to catch up with an old friend who obviously still had my email (so requested contact) although I'd lost theirs.

Not sure why they didn't just email me though smile

The only details are my job title and university but I've changed my name since then.

MN Talk is about as close as I get to social media.

Buglugs Fri 11-Oct-13 08:50:10

If I google myself, all it comes up with is a youtube video of the dog. (Plus some pics of other random people with the same/similar names).

It depends what field you work in for job stuff, privacy settings, whether or not you use twitter etc.

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