Creepy Stalkers

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

You ever have that feeling like you are being watched? I get this feeling all the time when I am driving. If a car has made several turns with me, I am almost positive they are with the FBI or some other cool organization that has three letters. I usually do a couple of maneuvers to lose them and then think about how I probably could be Jason Bourne. Yesterday I discovered I was being watched in a whole other way.

Twitter has changed the way we communicate with each other. Often times I will send DM’s and @ replies to my friends instead of calling or texting them. It has changed the way we stay in touch as well as brought us into the lives of others that we would have never have met before. There are tons of positives about twitter and communication, but there is one negative, people are watching. Yesterday I was complaining about Intense Debate, the comment stream that I use here on the blog (notice Intense Debate is gone) and how it continues to drop comments and is corrupting my blog. I was rather frustrated after losing all of my comments as well as all of my plugins. It was not a good way to start the day and I did what anyone naturally would do, tweeted.

I got several helpful comments from you fine folks. Then I got this comment:
Not saying this is not helpful, but it was rather creepy. Now I know all about twitter search and the benefits/downsides of this tool. I have seen it used in many different ways. What creeped me out the most was the fact that I knew if I said something about intense debate, someone from the company would send me an @ reply and ask what the problem was. Call this great customer service, I call it creepy.

I realized something yesterday…people are watching. Followers on twitter, readers on your blog, or people in real life are observing how we live, act, and talk. This sobering truth has caused me to really evaluate what I say, how I react, and what I do. Not because I am putting on a show for others in acting perfect, but that I am representing Christ.

With new technology comes more responsibility, but with the name of Christ comes a calling to live a life representing His name.

Is it a good thing that people are watching you?

Who are you watching?


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Kyle Reed

Posts Twitter

I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • David

    I don't have a problem with being watched…God always is anyway. But I agree that random “let me help you” tweets can be a little freaky, especially with how quickly they come back.

    But I think that is the way of customer service in the future.

    As to who I am watching? : everyone and no-one. My job involves “watching” people, so doing it online is a natural extension. We've got amazing tools to get connected these days, and I use them without shame :)

    • @kylelreed

      Ya I think you are right, I do like the customer service side of things. The interesting thing is I sent an email in and they never responded.
      I just do not want to be spammed and sometimes want to vent and not get answers.

  • Tom

    I get where you're coming from, but I kinda resigned myself to anything I – or we, for that matter – put online is fair game for anyone to see and respond.

    It kinda forms a filter through which I pass my decisions on should I put this out there?

    • @kylelreed

      Ya, you are definitely right. It can be a filter. I have hit delete on several things and have several post sitting as drafts waiting to be reworked and rewritten.

      It is interesting how you can find so much info about people now because of the web, twitter, blog, etc…makes the world a lot smaller.

  • Brett Barner

    Being part of that convo on Twitter, I now feel like I was being watched too. It's nice to get a quick, helpful response, but yeah, creepy.

    hmm…Geico commercial with money and googly eyes replaying in my head…

    • @kylelreed

      That commercial is exactly what I am talking about, perfect.

  • amanda!

    I have yet to join twitter or myspace. Facebook is enough for me. I blame the Terminator movies.

    • @kylelreed

      Well facebook is becoming exactly like twitter, so theoretically you are on twitter because of the changes that facebook continues to make. But that is ok, one is enough.

      And I never thought about Terminator, you have a point.

  • Nathan Duvall

    Yeah, ditto what David & Tom said. I recently searched for myself on Google because I was bored, and my stuff is everywhere. So I embrace it… it's more opportunity for people to accidentally stumble on something I've posted or written to maybe eventually point them to Christ. God can use anything and everything after all.

    But I love what you said here: “This sobering truth has caused me to really evaluate what I say, how I react, and what I do. Not because I am putting on a show for others in acting perfect, but that I am representing Christ.”

    This is a timely and important reminder to all of us. As representatives of Christ we have a duty and obligation to be careful what we say. To run everything through the “Jesus filter”, for lack of a better term, to make sure what we're saying is worthy of others reading it and that it reflects positively back on our Savior.

    • @kylelreed

      Yup, good point.

  • Austin Lee

    I'll have to say I was pleasantly surprised to get a quick tweet from them when I was having an issue with IntenseDebate. I guess I am of the opinion that while I was venting they wanted to make it right. I think they run a pretty lean shop at ID. In my experience they will get back with you, it just takes a couple of days. They have been really nice and right on target with some of the fixes on my blog.

  • stephenbateman

    Haha Koenig (as far I know) is the top guy at ID. Which is kinda cool. Anyway I just recently broke down and got a disqus account…I guess it does the job.

  • jesslatshaw

    the thing is that yeah, it can be creepy, but they wouldn't be able to watch us unless we were putting ourselves out there in the first place. which is why your point of really evaluating how we are presenting ourselves to the world, even and especially virtually, is so pertinent. but it's also good to realize that ultimately, we are in control of how much or how little others know of us in terms of how much we tweet/blog/update our status.

    nice to read you, btw:)

    • @kylelreed

      Thanks, glad you stopped in.

      You are right, we are putting ourselves out there for others to see. It is hard to control who sees what. The only real way is to not post anything or tweet anything. I guess I go with putting myself out there and seeing what happens.

  • Stephanie Nelson

    I mentioned Constant Contact in reply to a friend's tweet. That afternoon, they were following me and sent me a message saying that friend referrals would get me 10% off.

    I was completely creeped out. I feel you.

    • @kylelreed

      that seems like they are abusing the system there