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)??

BraveMerida Fri 11-Oct-13 04:37:56

It's more difficult for women, what with name changes after getting married....surely you can still contact them by email or phone if you want to? Or do you just want to stalk?

NotDead Fri 11-Oct-13 04:43:43

not so much that..just wanted to see them. . These are people I have lost with before email and it would take time working through networks to find them and I guess I'm shy about doing that, but that wasn't the motivation for the post.. it was just how do they do that? Also I do wonder if some puerile might have died and no one have told me sad

BraveMerida Fri 11-Oct-13 04:50:29

I was anonymous before I joined FB a few months one could have found me if they didn't have my email already...I know, 'coz I Googled myself (wondering if that's a done thing) wasn't particularly difficult.

TEErickOrTEEreat Fri 11-Oct-13 06:29:20

Despite not worrying about it and posting all over the place and not caring if my user name and real name are linked, I'm actually fairly invisible online.

The key for me is that my name is really common. Could that be it?

cupcake78 Fri 11-Oct-13 06:46:03

I'm invisible and proud of it. It's simple really, no FB, no twitter, no need for jobs to be online and name change when married.

I am invisible on the net. And that's the way I like it. Hate FB and Twitter and have no desire to splatter my life online with photos for all to see. I prefer to be mysterious.

If I am no longer in touch with someone it's usually for good reason and I want it kept that way.

NandH Fri 11-Oct-13 06:58:20

I'm intentionally invisible smile no FB, Twitter, all that shit, no job (sahm), very few people have my address and phone number, yay!

Mrsmorton Fri 11-Oct-13 07:01:06

As a dentist sadly it's impossible. The NHS insist on publishing the clinics you work at and the GDC feel they must let everyone know your address. This info is easily available online despite no FB account

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 11-Oct-13 07:03:20

Exactly as Sparkling said.

DontmindifIdo Fri 11-Oct-13 07:06:14

I've never been customer/ client facing at a high level so I wouldn't appear on business websites. A lot of people don't have those sorts of jobs and if they pick tight security for social media then will be hard to find.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 11-Oct-13 07:07:29

I'm invisible online, it's not difficult at all!

My Job doesn't involve my details being put online and I don't do social networking.....that's it really isn't itconfused

I can be found via the NMC website via my married name but all it tells anyone is what NHS trust I work for! You'd have to be looking and know what I do in the first place...

cashmiriana Fri 11-Oct-13 07:17:46

I'm invisible save for one very convoluted link that requires you to know which university I went to, and when.
No FB, no twitter, job lists me by surname without even an initial, and with no individual contact details.

Eastpoint Fri 11-Oct-13 07:30:36

I am completely invisible to anyone who doesn't know my married name, I just checked out of curiosity.

MrsDavidBowie Fri 11-Oct-13 07:31:46

I am invisible FB, twitter etc.

Artandco Fri 11-Oct-13 07:34:54

Invisible as a person. You will find my company easily but my personal details aren't a disclosed on websites. I do have fb but have turned off every setting to find me, so only close friends and family can get through

Iaintdunnuffink Fri 11-Oct-13 07:39:13

It's not hard to be invisible.

My twitter name has nothing to do with me.
My FB settings are tight.
I've only worked for large organisations and my name has never been published on their websites. Is someone has a problems with their product they want to find the customer services number, not the names of the engineers.

I can be found via linked in but not under my maiden name. I had a long career break and changed my name but still managed to link to former bosses and colleagues. So I had a visible employment trail to any future employers, that came in useful.

SilverApples Fri 11-Oct-13 07:39:53

I'm fairly invisible, I have FB but it has very high privacy settings and I'm not searchable. If I google myself, I only come up as a reference on page 4 as a conference attendee in a subject area that is unrelated to my work.

Pigsmummy Fri 11-Oct-13 08:00:49

I was invisible until I joined LinkedIn. Not intentionally, I am just not very interesting and my maiden name was very popular (common).

scarletforya Fri 11-Oct-13 08:16:02

Erm. Yabu!

There is a cohort of people who deliberately choose to be invisible online. I am one. no Facebook, no LinkedIn etc.

I've been on the internet since 1998 but you wouldn't know it. I make it my business to stay private and totally unreachable. It's a bit like being ex directory from the phone book.

Bunbaker Fri 11-Oct-13 08:16:57

"Freaked out" is a little strong. Even in this day and age of high tech there are still a great number of people who want to remain unfindable or invisible. I have a Facebook account, but when you google my name the wrong person comes up. The one that annoys me is the How on earth did I end up on there?

sonu678 Fri 11-Oct-13 08:17:17

if you google my name, my home address comes up because i was a director of dh company, which was registered at our home. I find that very scary.

Bunbaker Fri 11-Oct-13 08:17:50

Ah, that's it. I am a director of OH's company.

Preciousbane Fri 11-Oct-13 08:17:57

No FB or Twitter here and I also didn't put a linked in profile up, sadly because of an abusive ex I don't want to be found.

PoppyAmex Fri 11-Oct-13 08:25:16

I'd say unless you have a professional interest in being accessible, that's a very desirable state.

In fact, although DH and I love our DD's full name, it's completely 100% unique (not a weird name, just a multicultural family so the surname combination is unheard of) which gave us a moment of pause.

We just think the poor girl won't have as much "room to hide", so to speak, as John/Jane Smith.

thesaurusgirl Fri 11-Oct-13 08:26:11

I'm a company director so I come up on the internet if your search terms are sufficiently specific. Otherwise I'm invisible because my name is not especially unusual - if you Google me you get over 100,000 results and almost none refer to me.

I'm not on Facebook or Twitter and I like it that way. I was on Linked In (boss's orders) but took my profile down after it showed itself to be nothing more than an invitation for loons to get in touch.

MarshaBrady Fri 11-Oct-13 08:26:24

I don't do FB and twitter so unless you know me you won't see pics of my family or much information about my life. (My name is there connected to work).

I like it that way.

hugoagogo Fri 11-Oct-13 08:27:08

I am a little freaked out about how 'visible' some people are online personally.

thesaurusgirl Fri 11-Oct-13 08:28:08

Sorry, meant to say, a lot of my high profile clients pay search engine optimisation agencies (SEO) to either push them up the Google search results, or obscure them altogether. It's not expensive to be obscured and many rich people do it to avoid security problems or hide how they avoid tax

SamsGoldilocks Fri 11-Oct-13 08:35:03

I think it's pretty important to be invisible online. My life is my business, not for a relative stranger to gawp at. It amazes me how much people allow others to see.

PortBlacksandByBroomstick Fri 11-Oct-13 08:38:44

What hugoagogo said.

My twitter account is unrelated to anything other than my interests and none of my friends who have twitter accounts are on it - that's what FB is for. My Facebook account has a few friends and is private and i don't have any companies or interests 'likes 'in my feed - i use twitter for that. My name and business comes out top on google if you google my name but that is my maiden name and anyone who uses me wouldn't associate me with my FB page which is in my married name.

You can see i've thought about this grin. That said if you try hard enough or know me well enough you could put them all together but i like to keep them seperate. I name change just enough on here a lot too.

That said - i have tried to find an old school friend - he really does seem to have dropped off the planet. He had an unusual name too.

PortBlacksandByBroomstick Fri 11-Oct-13 08:41:43

Oh and i never put pictures of DH or DCs on Facebook. he's a very private person and they might want to be PM one day wink

Trills Fri 11-Oct-13 08:42:51

"Freaked out" is a weird phrase to use.

Confused or surprised, maybe.

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.

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.

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.

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 (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.

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.

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 09:15:04

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.

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 09:44:00

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 __?'

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.

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.

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".

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

My Mum wanted to be untraceable online and was annoyed to find that she's on - 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....

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