Favourite Worst (Real-Life) Nightmare
There are times when nightmares have really, truly happened, and often, the worst nightmare is being caught out. For example, being caught urinating in a public place. Or being walked in on while doing something embarrassing. Having skirts fly up in the breeze. Having pants fall down. Walking into a glass door. Lists could be endless here. It’s not just embarrassing moments, either. I think there are two other kinds of nightmares that can occur, that are often vocally expressed like so: 1) “I’d rather be dead than be caught listening to Justin Bieber”, or 2) “I seriously hope my parents don’t find out about this”.
I’m pretty guilty of the latter. I’m not a goody-two shoes, but I’m not very rebellious either. Like typical rebellious daughters, I don’t do drugs or drink until I get trashed, I don’t drive a car when I don’t even have a licence, I don’t go out late and ignore my parents’ phone calls. Like most daughters, when I’m in a bad mood I yell at my parents, I also hate doing housework sometimes, and my room is a mess.
I began web design about ten years ago but didn’t have a personal website until 2003. I had just been learning to work my head around HTML and CSS. When I decided to make a personal website and include a detailed profile of myself, the only digital photograph I had of myself was a photo of me in a ballet costume performing the Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker Suite. Back then, digital cameras were expensive and I had obtained a digital copy of this photograph thanks to my ballet teacher. I didn’t think twice and I put it straight on my website, along with a substantial amount of information about myself.
I was level-headed, I was well-informed, I was careful, but I was also naive, and perhaps gave out too much information. The internet is full of predators, though over the past few years – dare I say – it has become a more interactive platform and people are interacting via Twitter and even advertising themselves to employers via websites like LinkedIn. I wouldn’t go as far to say that it’s safer, but it’s become more of an outlet for people to connect than it was before.
In 2003, I was 12. Ooh, come on. No parent likes their twelve-year-old chatting to other people online. Though I was regularly chatting with Rhiannon (whom some of you might remember from PetShopGirlsReviews.com before she disappeared, or if you remember her before then, she owned petshopgirl.tk) and other people who owned blogs and websites, my mum wasn’t pleased when I told her I was chatting to some random chick on Messenger from Perth, and she doozed up and ranted about how this girl could be some freaky old man who lived just around the corner. I was just thinking, come on, fat chance.
Ages ago, my uncle used to send a crapload of chain mail to my mum. My mum used to refer to this particular one, in which there was some ridiculous story about this girl who started talking to a boy online. One day there was a man following her as she walked home from basketball practice, and as soon as she reached home, she rushed inside and shut the door. Her parents obviously asked her what was wrong, and it turns out the man following her was a douchebag hired by her parents to teach her a lesson about chatting to people online. I hate that story, FTR.
Anyway, my mum found my website. She told me to remove the information about myself. She was not very pleased. Much later, I put my information back up there (oo, rebel). My mum never asked about my websites again. Over the years, I can say I’ve revealed much about myself through my blog and have interacted with many other bloggers, and I know when something could pose a risk or not. However, over time I have come to learn that the blogging community is also a lovely one, and anyone I interact with is most likely another blogger with the same mindset as me.
Given that, I was still always cautious about what I wrote on my blog in case anyone from my family came across it. I still am – and there are some things I don’t mention at all on my blog. No one in my family is really aware of my blog address or really visits it. Recently, I also changed my name on some websites so I would be a little less discoverable – it has been quite some time that Googling my full name gives a vast array of results. (This actually doesn’t bother me all that much.)
My mum recently got a smartphone and likes that it gives her the ability to check her email. She can also save time while she is sitting on the couch, not quite in the mood to use the computer, but she can research the internet. Unfortunately that leaves her resorting to her phone as a cure for boredom, and one day as I was brushing my teeth, I heard her saying loudly:
“Hello, I’m Georgina. My favourite colour is red.
In case you hadn’t guessed that already.”
I stopped mid-brush, nearly swallowing some toothpaste.
I guess you could say that one of my worst nightmares was having my parents find me on Google. I imagined I’d have bricks falling out of my backside.
I said, “That’s my portfolio. How did you find it?”
As soon as I said that, I regretted asking her. She calmly told me that she had been looking for the origin of some foreign names and looking at foreign names in general when the idea occurred to her to Google my name. Me! Of all people. She said this, briefly pausing at times, and said she thought I had written beautifully on my portfolio and that it was really quite impressive.
The bricks stopped threatening to fall out of my backside. I stood there just nodding slowly as my mum surfed my portfolio (which contains quite a substantial amount of information about myself) on her phone. She asked me how employers reacted when I had interviews and how I used my portfolio to show them my work. I mean, come on, you still gotta explain this kind of thing to parents.
“I Googled your brother and I couldn’t find everything… you have so much. Look! Twitter, LinkedIn… what is LinkedIn, by the way? And a blog, owned by you…”
“I know, I’ve Googled myself before…”
I guess my mum finding me on Google wasn’t so bad.
Oh dear. Ugh, I would be really akjdalsjdlaksjd if my mum found my blog. I guess I’ve become really open about myself through the last few years of uni – but still not open enough to share some stuff with my family
Actually my dad didn’t think it was too big of a deal when I started using the Internet – because we didn’t have a computer at home, I used to go to Internet cafes about five hours a week. He knew I used some online chat websites, but he was pretty cool about it – maybe it helped that he used them too.
I don’t know about my mum, I don’t think by now she would be that worried, but I still wouldn’t want her to find my online profiles. I suppose she has found my FB, but she hasn’t send a friend request (thank the heavens) and it’s not like she could find my blog or twitter through it since my profile is set to private. Sure, someone savvy enough could go around Facebook’s privacy setting, but I doubt my mum could. So I guess no worries there.
As for worst nightmare – man, I hate when I’m dreaming I’m back in high school, and there’s an assignment due on that same day that I wasn’t told about.
For me… I guess my mother has always told me not to put anything up, not my real name, not my birthday. Given that I don’t like my real name, that’s not really a problem. I even tried to fabricate my own past once. My mother is nowhere tech savvy and resistant to change so I doubt she would open up a Facebook to check on me anytime soon. I guess the fact that I don’t like my name much has somewhat helped me become conscious of privacy in a sense, since I would never use it anywhere, but also means I don’t have much of an online presence (too many usernames).
I guess my dad’s always been aware but not really cared. He might peek at my screen when he comes in for whatever reason, but even when I told him excitedly that I bought a domain (first purchase with my debit card as well), he barely bat an eyelash at me. He absolutely hates buying things online, so I was surprised I didn’t get a telling off, frankly.
I guess I’ve only opened up since 2009 when I started using forums other than the ones I’d been using previously, where people actually wondered which country you were from. I’ve always wondered why people would tell me they’re from Oregon, when a simple ‘I’m from the US’ would do.. In any case, I’ve usually used my online sites to complain about parents… I’ve always felt safer there. I used to write them out on notebook paper and then I would rip them up into little pieces later and throw them away.
One of my nightmares used to be turning up at school in my fluffy pink slippers. I loved those. Another was sleeping through class and I already did that last year. Slept until 4PM when class started and got a yelling at when mother and brother got home. XD;
Sorry for the ramble~
Well i had kind of the same experience some years back. There was this forum thing which was a rage at that time and i was kinda addicted to it…I had made some friends there…2 of then actually who introduced me to Piczo… well my parents weren’t impressed at all with me being friends with some one online… and they gave almost similar examples like your parents…and they then kept a good eye on my net activities…not a good period for me…but now my mom’s cool with me having a site…. as i’m finally sudying in this field itself…and site helps me in learning XHTMl and css and all….that too on my own :D :D…but all parents are the same!
o.o it’s scary!! I talked about being busted by our parents with my siblings and yeah, when we each searched our full name, so many things came out. Malaysian government never even bother to keep it secured! urghhh~
And I always have to make sure no one knows my name “chazzie” especially my students and the other teachers here because if they search that, so many things will come out and I will have nowhere to hide =.= lol, what a tech-mom! she checked on you just like my dad =.= anyway, have a great day!
I guess I’ve been lucky so far. I’ve owned different blogs through the years and so far no family has found any of them. Which makes me happy. My younger brother has a habit of turning anything I post on facebook into something totally different – thank gosh I can block him from reading some things. The only thing my mom has really ever found has been my DeviantArt account and looked at different things I’ve posted on there – which I’m totally okay with. No big deal, nothing to hide there.
I admit I honestly don’t care if family finds my blog any more. It’s just my way to vent, and with my family it’s needed. Ha ha.
Until I was about 16, I used an alias online. I knew I was going to use my site on my college applications, so I started using at least my real first name.
Sophomore year of college I put my school PO Box address so my online friends could send me Christmas cards. Instead, I got a box full of presents from my stalker. It was all good stuff, but creepy as hell.
Nowadays, there’s so much info about everyone online whether we like it or not. Anyone who really wants to find you can no matter how careful you are.
My mom has always read my blog from day 1, even though I said I rather she didn’t. She says since it’s public, she has the right to. Moms.
Ngaww. You are a Goodwuggs :B
Yeah, just sleep earlier. yebum 😏
I wouldn’t be concerned about your online identity. It’s not like you post photos of your reflections and going ‘omgz i’m zo ugly’
just to hope people go ‘AW NAW YAW NAWT’
:3 happy anniversary /bounce
Ngaww. You are a Goodwuggs :B
Yeah, just sleep earlier. yebum 😏
I wouldn’t be concerned about your online identity. It’s not like you post photos of your reflections and going ‘omgz i’m zo ugly’
just to hope people go ‘AW NAW YAW NAWT’
:3 happy anniversary /bounce
Duplicate comment my ass
My parents don’t even know that I currently have a blog. I had one several years ago, but they were very paranoid about me putting personal information up (which I hardly ever did) so I decided that I wouldn’t tell them this time around.
But yes, like your parents, mine also told me stories. One was about a girl who was murdered at our local mall when she tried to meet up with a stranger she met on the internet. And while I know my parents were only looking out for me, it took all of my strength to restrain myself from yelling about how I’m not stupid enough to meet up with some stranger I meet on the internet, or give out my name, or tell everyone my phone number and address.
They really emphasized on not giving out my name. I can actually understand this, though, because my name is so unique. There are very few people in the world with my name, so if I went ‘internet public’ with it, I would probably appear up there on the Google results.
It’s a bummer having to go by a name that isn’t really even mine (well, Kristi is a portion of my middle name). It’s like I’m living a lie! 😢
I’m so glad that your mom didn’t just freak out! The way that you described her made it sound like she was really proud of your portfolio and blog and everything.
I’ve always been scared of revealing the fact that I own a blog to my mom. I’m pretty sure I know that she would not be very happy about it because I would be revealing personal information about myself and someone could stalk me, and just all that jazz. I don’t know that she would stop me, but I know she would not be happy about it. So, for now, I’m pretty happy with her not knowing about it. Besides, like you said, you can kind of detect when things are a little fishy with someone, and everyone I’ve met are just fellow bloggers.
Hey hey, Georgina! :D! Don’t worry about being busy with life things. I’m pretty busy myself and I’m pushing to get my comments through XD! It’s nothing biggie~
Being caught in something gotta be embarrassing. But it can go both ways, it can be good or bad. I think number 2, being caught by parents is more worse than a nightmare :X. Like you, I yell at my parents when I’m not happy, hate doing chores, and leave my room as a dump along with not breaking the law. :P. It’s probably those “webdesigners” thing or something. Your call!
You learned html/css at a pretty young age compared to where most people do it at 16. Many people probably don’t think much and just straight out post a picture of themselves on their new website. Even I did that.. With MySpace at least and my parents caught me and made me delete all of my pictures. Since then, I kept my internet where abouts a secret.
Adults can be pretty.. Dramatic and over exaggerating when it comes to being paranoid about their kid talking to “some stranger” online. If my mom were to told me the same story your mom refers to, I’d hate it the most.
At least now your mom appreciates the beauty of your portfolio, right? But it’s even weird for your mom to find your portfolio by googling it! It’s better this situation than the next :P. I remembered the other months, just my name alone, “Nancy” appaears on the first page of Google when you look it up. It’s a nightmare-paranoia sometimes. That’s why I avoid putting my last name in places too :P.
Linux is horrible when you’re trying to look for problems! The terminal was just… A double nightmare of Window’s CMD D:.
It’s awesome to achieve great success and keeping it in until.. You want to bring it up randomly in a conversation or someone’s asking about it. It’s something earned, feel free to talk about it ;D! I don’t know how to put it in some other words. I wore my rose bowl parade jacket the other day and some loser at school indirectly harasses me on twitter calling me a “jackass show off”. It’s immature but meh.
Take care ;D! Sorry for the semi-long comment :c. I tried keeping it to a minimum :D. You got some mad skills at blogging! XD
That reminds me … What is the legal drinking age there? I’m just curious. :P
My mom knows about my blog. I suppose I COULD use it to my advantage, but I don’t want to waste my time in doing so, either. Maybe your mom truly was impressed, and she just wanted to be involved in your life, or whatever it is mothers like that are interested in. I wouldn’t know, though. .-.
Maybe her knowing about it won’t be so bad?
PHEW! Man I know that feeling! This is the reason why I don’t post anything FAMILY-RELATED on my blog for fear of me regretting what I say. They don’t mind I have online friends though, i’m thankful for that. They’re even happy that I earn a little from blogging but it is a GOOD thing that they aren’t that sneaky to read it. I am thankful for my parents! My brother simply doesn’t care what I write and I think he’s just gonna get bored reading it. He’s actually starting his blog, a controversial one at that. I’ll probably link it just so people read it. I do want to know what they think about it XD
Good that your mom is okay at it now though! :) My nightmares are a bit different, though hopefully Zombie attacks won’t happen in real life or me being bludgeoned by a meat cleaver at the back AHEHEHEHEE. I don’t want those kinds of nightmares occurring in real life.
(WAIT THAT PETSHOPGIRL SOUNDS VERY FAMILIAR, HECK I THINK I LINKED HER THEN… omg that was such a long time ago XD)
My parents really know nothing about the internet and have always trusted me and my judgement over everything. I guess I lucked out in that respect. I’ve always been similar to you – a pretty darn good kid, y’know? My mom reads my blog now and has for a number of years especially now that I’m overseas. For most of my online life I’ve had the opinion that I should never say anything online that everyone in the world could see and with that mantra, nothing has ever gone wrong. I’ve never had to worry about anyone finding me because I have nothing to hide. I’m glad that the same thing pretty much has happened to you, it seems. :)
My brother found my website once. He must have searched for me on Google, for no apparent reason. He showed it to my mum, who had no idea I could design websites. She was impressed but to my knowledge she has no visited my website since. But even since then I have been very careful about what I put on my website and in my blog. My brother found my Twitter account too and he was really annoyed that I had moaned about him occasionally on there. It was a horrible feeling. I didn’t like the idea of being spied on. :/
I don’t tell my parents about who I talk to online because they would instantly jump to the conclusion that they aren’t who they say they are. I can’t blame parents for being like this but I have always been a sensible person. You have to have some trust online.
I completely hear you on the “don’t put loads of information about yourself on the internet!!” from a parent. My Dad has worked with computers since younger than I am now, and he’s familiar with all the tricks of the trade, and how information can be accessed and what not. Like you, I began blogging and talking on the internet quite frequently when I was around the age of 12/13. Piczo, CBBC chat rooms, MB’s and what not. I can’t tell you how many times my father and I have argued over the basic fact my name is on the site. I still get it now – I’ve had to change my blog a number of times (plus because of various other reasons, like other family members not finding it) because he checks up on me. All. The. Time. “Rebecca, you’re university degree is on there and ANYONE COULD USE THAT TO TRACK YOU” Erm, Dad, chill, it’s only my degree not my actual university name. Very recently actually, before I changed to my blog now, there was a man who commented on my posts. Friendly, harmless, it’s not like I spoke to him on instant messaging or anything. My Dad, goes all mental, starts messaging him to leave me alone. I’d like to say I could have died, but really, I’m never going to meet this guy so why should I let it bother me? Why does it bother my Dad?
Now it’s gotten to a point, after trying to keep my blog a secret, I’ve given up. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I don’t care if my Dad, or other family members or friends from home read my blog. At the end of the day, I’m using it as an outlet to express my voice and opinions. Hopefully opinions that will aid me in achieving my career in journalism, of course, alongside other means.
I started web design around the same age as you, except I was on Neopets. I literally spent 70% of my preteen life on there. Same as you, I made friends from all over. I started texting this girl from Cali, and once my mom started seeing weird area codes on our text records, she gave me a huge lecture on privacy online and the dangers and everything. Eventually, it passed, and I’m still pretty good friends with the girl from Cali today.
I actually just showed her my website the other day, but she’s not exactly tech-savvy, so she just said it’s pretty cool that I’m posting my art online. I guess it’s natural for every parent to want to protect their kid, especially from unknown things wandering all over the interwebs, haha.
I’m glad your mom was understanding this time around :)
Haha you sound like you would be the perfect daughter for parents. I wasn’t so bad as a teenager but a little worse than you were/are. I think the worse thing I did was get my tongue pierced when mum pleaded with me not to. She tried to negotiate with me and said she would take me to get my navel or nose pierced. Any thing but my tongue. When I did get it done all she did was roll her eyes. Mum was quite strict though. She slapped me for spraying hair dye in my hair on school carnival day, and would ground me if I took the dog for a walk past 5 pm.
I started playing around with websites and coding around the same time, I was about 13 – 14. Back then the only camera I had was those cute polaroid things that printed out those small sticky photos. I can’t remember what they were actually called though. They were long and came in different colours and I think were targeted for kids.
Haha my favourite colour is also red. But oh how embarrassing. It sounds like she is mocking you, in a fun way when she read it out loud. I don’t want my mum reading my blog. At least your mum is impressed. I told my mum about my website (without giving away the URL) but she didn’t seem interested.
I had to laugh at the first paragraph where you wrote “walking into a glass door” because I HAVE walked into a glass wall in front of someone. I was texting… and then my forehead smacked into the wall.
Years ago in my earlier stage of having a personal website (~2005, I think?), my dad noticed that I had put a picture of myself online. He told me that I shouldn’t do that even if I did black out my face (a la SOPA protest style). So my family DID know about my website, but I don’t think they ever knew the URL. When I got my first domain, it was a birthday present from my dad. Now, my parents HAVE to be more relaxed about what I put online because my dad totally talks to people he doesn’t know personally through Facebook. (He was big into Farmville and Mafia Wars…)
I’m glad that your mom had a better reaction to finding your online presence this time. It sounds like she was actually pretty impressed with your portfolio.
I would rather people I am close with in RL not read my blog, just in case I write something that offends them. I try hard to think of how people would feel if they read my blog as I’m writing it, so I try to never say anything hurtful. That and it’s just bad karma.
That, and people don’t really care a whole lot about me so I would rather people in RL either know me from knowing me, and not just by reading my blog. (If that makes sense.)
I had a similar experience at right about the same time too with my parents finding my website. And like you, I only made a new website and made them even angrier.
Luckily, I think views on personal websites have changed a lot. Having an online portfolio, especially for someone in your field, is very standard. I started using LinkedIn, and my professor added me as a contact. Perhaps that’s why your mom was okay with finding you. At the moment, I have a professional website (I was told to make one by one of my advisers), but I try to keep it very separate from the online persona I blog with. (Except for those of you who have me on Google+, but that stuff isn’t public on the Internet.)
i kinda LOLed at your Having skirts fly up in the breeze – example XD i kinda thought about in animes how that would be a guy’s dream LOL
anyway, what’s up with your mom? o.O haha. but anywho, at least she understands you’re older now! she probably understands that the portfolio is work and related and she better be impressed! LOL!
for some reason, i never really cared about whether or not my family or IRL friends found my blog. i actually linked my blog onto my personal facebook so they could all see if they wanted to, hehe 8D
Hi Georgina! Just letting you know that my site is down. I lost all of my posts! D: aoweijfoiejf. So um, OH YEAH! I’m coming back at deadbeatsummer.co.cc. It’ll take me a while. I have to piece my site back together while trying not to drown in my tears of frustration. Oh my god, I’m so upset.
Well, on the bright side, your mom didn’t totally freak out. My mom knows that I have websites…and various other online profiles. She doesn’t really care. LOL But then again, I am 31 years old. She figures that if I’m dumb enough to give out personal information, then that’s my problem. My website doesn’t even show up when you Google my name…which is sort of a good thing as I’m not 100% sure that I want anyone in my hometown reading my blog. :P
I smiled a bit at your description of yourself…I don’t do any of those things either and my bedroom is a total disaster area. :)
I forgot to mention, that I’ve run into a glass door as well. :P Not to mention, fallen up a flight of steps. :D
Herro! I have found your blog through comments on other posts :D
I can totally understand. I was always nervous my mother would find my blog and freak out on me about the amount of information I shared about myself. . .
From the getgo, I wrote under the alias/pseudonym ‘Serenity’, so as to avoid the possibility of my mother (or even other real-life people) finding my blog and messing up my anonymity. Luckily, to this day, I have successfully evaded the prying eyes of mi madre. However, I will admit once someone from my school who was terrorizing me did manage to use their brainstem and figure out what name I was using (it’s pretty obvious where it comes from if you’ve ever read/watched Sailor Moon, which is something I blatantly love). It was awful and I had to move sites and everything.
It’s good that this second time around your Mom didn’t freak out or anything. Clearly, she’s grown to trust you!
My biggest fear was always the opposite – people from school finding out about my blog. My parents have always known about TYB (they pay for it, so they know) to the extent where they have asked me to remove things, but lately they seem a bit chilled – parents can really surprise you like that!
I was always the opposite when I started out online, funnily enough. Used a pseudonym and never gave away anything, funny that. Guess it all just relates to how central our blogs were in terms of our lives, I originally kept mine very separate and it still kind of is.
Still, glad your mum was cool, and your nightmare wasn’t as scary! haha
I’m glad that your mum is impressed with your portfolio! At least her finding it didn’t lead to a fight. Perhaps she understands the internet better because of her smartphone now?
I’m still very private when it comes online. I don’t use my last name very frequently and a Google search of my full name just results in school/news articles. I’m a private person, by nature, even in my “real life,” so it’s not a surprise that I’d be the same on the internet.
Wow, I cannot believe those parents did that! Hiring that man to teach their kid a lesson about the internet. What if the kid does get followed by an internet creeper and doesn’t react to it because she thinks it’s just another man her parents hired? What then, parents? O_o
You’re definitely right about the general blogging community being a loving one. Though, lately I’ve seen it evolve into much more of a moneymaking one where the content isn’t personal anymore, but all sponsored. I’ve no problem with people making money doing something they love (I would love doing that as well!), but it’s sad to see a beautiful blog covered in ads and sponsored posts & links :(