Thursday, July 21, 2022

A Case of Stolen Identity?

Yesterday a few dear people alerted me that they'd received messages on Instagram and Facebook from an account with someone pretending to be me.  It's a story that has probably happened to most of us on social media by now.

Whoever made that account did not steal my identity.  There will only ever be one me in the world.  I am fully intact.

The copycat didn't figure out my password or compromise my account--they just took a screenshot of my profile picture, started a new account with my name, and started messaging random friends/followers of mine, potentially with the use of a bot, I suppose. Anyone who knows me most likely ignored the messages, because IG and Facebook told them it was someone who wasn't their friend--and also because the messages, though friendly, weren't really characteristic of me. When people do this, it's a nuisance, but it doesn't have to be a threat. We can recognize it for what it is, report or delete, and carry on.

For me the fake accounts are a relatively benign pitfall of social media, compared to the promotion of fear, division, blame and hatred that have actually taken something precious from us--by making us forget that there is an abundance of beauty and hope in the world, so much that we can learn from each other and appreciate about each other, and that differences don't have to make enemies. 

I wholeheartedly applaud the people who have gotten fed up and left social media. But here I still am, for better or worse, hoping to help myself and others remember all the gifts we have. In our own little corners of the world, we can spread hope and gratitude.  We can live in our true, God-given identity.

As my husband would say, "Don't let them steal your joy."

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