A Google+ Story. (Hint: it doesn't go well for Ann)

This story is about a woman named Ann. Who on occasion does things rather quickly. It’s good most of the time, because she can be fast and efficient. It’s not good other times, when she moves so quickly she doesn’t notice she is emailing her ex-husband from her secret blog email account.

This woman named Ann is decently technically savvy as well. But occasionally, she fails at savvy.

Add into the mix the wonderful integration across platforms and identities that Google does, and you have a potential landmine with one such as Ann.

Earlier this week, Ann asked for the email address of a man she is dating. He’s a lovely guy, probably pretty vanilla, and Ann hasn’t dared breathe a word of her blog yet, or her – ahem – prolific history. She’s a little afraid if he knows, he might not like her anymore. Sad, but true.

Ann was working on two computers at the same time, and also texting him on her phone. She had seen a TedTalk she really liked and thought he would like it – and she told him she was going to send him the link. She popped over to You Tube, found the video, and used the “share” function to send him an email.

Instantly after she hit “send”, she noticed that it was tied to her blog’s Google+ account.

Her first thought was: WTF? YouTube and Google+ talk to each other?

Her second thought (in quick succession, naturally) was: Oh fuck, not again.

She quickly texted him and said “oops, sent that from an old email account, my new email address is….let me know when you get it”, went into her real life Gmail account, and re-sent the video link.

She then went back into YouTube and re-sent the video from her blog account, to herself, just to see what it looked like. Handily, it just shows the name (Ann St. Vincent) and not the actual email address (annstvincentblog@gmail.com). BUT with one click that handy dandy email takes you right to the Google+ account.

So she deleted her blasted Google+ blog account, which she found pretty useless anyway (she apologizes if that’s how any of you found her content).

By then he had texted “Got it. You got past the junk filter :)”

Then she made all the blog posts about him private.

And she waited.

It’s 36 hours later. Based on the interactions she had with him since, it seems Ann has dodged another bullet. Perhaps she should start buying lottery tickets.

Oh, and the Ted Talk?

0 thoughts on “A Google+ Story. (Hint: it doesn't go well for Ann)

    • Yup, I am now Google+ free. I seem to have traumatized WordPress which keeps asking me if I am having trouble since I’ve removed all connections.

      And now Google won’t recognize authorship on my sub pages, because they want them tied to a Google+ account. While I’m sure there is another way to do it, I actually don’t think it will make a whit of difference on my blog.

  1. Well, that’ll get your heart pumping huh? Perhaps he has simply let it go. Sorry, gotta run, I have 7 hours and 14 minutes of a show to watch now.

  2. Haha and it is not Google+ that links everything together it is Google. One email multiple connections.

    But you sure cut it real close there …. again lol.. I learned from that and am never logged in unless I need to be.

    Swipes forhead..grin

      • I think we all have been there.. Gosh you would almost think we are all players or cheaters. Or in some cases just having fun and trying to keep personal live separate from our outgoing life. Lol we and our secrets. No offense ofcourse

        • No offense taken. With Tony, I’m just not sure yet how he would respond if I told him about my history. I think I would terrify him.

          My real fear was that he would read about himself and my comments about his hydraulics and it would be very difficult to have a reasonable conversation after that had been seen.

          It was one of the things that made my relationship with Johnny so special – everything was out in the open already.

  3. There are ways to keep Google accounts separate but it does the a concerted effort to manage them. It is best to segregate everything from the applications to the usage. Early on in my WP blogging, another blogger and I discovered each other’s real life identities via Google’s cross-linking of accounts.

    I don’t link my blog email account to any other Internet site or ap. It is a pain, but it keeps me and Savannah safe.

        • Another thing I do is use two internet browsers, Chrome for smut and Internet Explorer for everything else. I never log into IE with any smut account and always use Chrome for that. While not perfect, it helps keep them separate.



        • My ex gets put under for dental stuff… but one of the things he’s given wipes out your memory for a while. After discovering he had sent a bunch of email messages after getting home one day (convinced he was fine, naturally), then having no recollection of it the next day, we decided he was banned from his blackberry after dental appointments πŸ˜€

          • I am always convinced I am fine. Most of the time, I am… Sometimes I am definitely not! Most people know though, and the next morning will just say “so you totally ambienland text me last night!”

          • Oh my. It is like when you’re hammered and you drunk text people and have no recollection of it the next day. I feel fully functioning but I don’t remember in the morning. Most of the time it makes me more saucy. I generally don’t reach out to people (and when I do it is always a bad idea) but if someone texts me, I’ll respond in ways I wouldn’t sober. It is either blatantly sexual or looks like this “sooo I smeicivu and wienebenennnn snebgbggbbg.” More often than anything I’ll send a text, totally normal like and then pass the fuck out for a while.
            I’ll wake up a couple hours later, thinking no time has passed and reply even if it’s like 3am. I am better about it than I used to be.

  4. You require complete separation of ‘church’ and ‘state’. I’ll vote for one device for work and one device for play. Yes, it’s a pain, but is it as much pain as that sudden feeling of your stomach falling out of your butt when you realize you’ve sent something from somewhere you shouldn’t?

    • Yeah, that’s not a good feeling… didn’t like it at all. Was better than the ex email, but this was not how I would want to tell someone about my blog or my sexual history. Never mind that I talk about his hydraulics issues… gah.

  5. A couple of years ago, we met a couple that came out to Vegas with a straight couple we knew. I took some pictures of the girl and she gave me her email to send her a copy at her Yahoo email.

    I didn’t think anything about it and sent her copies using the yahoo account I have. Then I noticed a pop up message that said, something like check out what’s Suzy doing (not her real name). So I click on the link and it brings me to Suzy’s page and there is a shot of her from the neck down in a little bikini.

    I’m looking at the picture and immediately think this is the type of picture swingers send out. So I notice that I can see links to all of her friends. Checking them out I find naked pictures, suggestive email addresses, etc. So purely by accident I figure out that Suzy and hubby were in the Lifestyle and this is all because Yahoo shares the information.

    So I asked wifey, did you know your straight GF’s friends were swingers? She was surprised to find that out and I explained how easy it was to figure out.

    Naturally being in the Lifestyle ourselves, we never mentioned it but if this would have been a more uptight person or relative, it might have ended badly.

    • That’s just kinda crazy. I at least know in *theory* to use different email addresses. I have a different one for online dating as well and I don’t use it for anything other than that.

      I’m pretty careful to even ensure I never use photos in online dating that I had on facebook (or anywhere), just to prevent people from finding me using google image search.

      It’s all rather crazy how integrated everything is.

    • Thanks Gus… I was not in the same panic as I was with my ex, but I did want to try to ensure I didn’t make it really simple for him to see something he shouldn’t.

      So far I think I’m still okay…

  6. I have five email accounts just to keep things like this from happening; I have a Gmail account that I take great pains to keep from connecting to Google+ – that’s why I don’t use my Gmail account for WP and when I saw I could connect to Google+, I laughed and said, “Like I’m really gonna do that…”

    • I totally understand now the rationale for not using a gmail account for the blog… for those reasons. I have tons of different email accounts (my provider allows me to set up a bunch and I have a separate one for online shopping, for example)… but the Google integration really threw me for a loop.

      Just glad I didn’t learn my lesson in the harshest way possible.

  7. I once emailed my ex-husband from my secret blog account. I told him it was my junk mail account; I think I am safe. Mine happened because I have all the accounts on my phone. Lesson learned! I understand your anxiety.

  8. Oh god.

    The thing that scares me about integration is that most of us (as consumers) really have NO idea what talks to what or what systems gather and keep what information, even if we are tech-savvy (I am, also).

    My vanilla skype account suddenly showed my boot picture (WTF?!) when I was talking to my sister (that picture is linked EVERYWHERE to my non-vanilla activity). My blog FB account keeps suggesting I friend people on my vanilla FB account (different login/emails, same computer, FB clearly knows we are the same person), when I comment on blogs WP or google often prompt me to log in and I’m never sure what the result will be, my twitter is linked to my FB and I’m occasionally terrified that it has/will posted to the wrong FB account, people with Apple products have upgraded IOS and voila!: all IMs/pics etc have synched to their family’s devices (partner, kids, all of them)…

    It scares the bejeesus out of me!


    • Great points, Fern. I realized (and not sure I wrote about it) that Facebook now has a feature where people can look you up with your mobile number. I realized it because all these dudes I’d “dated” were showing up on my “friends you may know” list and I couldn’t figure out why. FB was reading my phone contact list. That could explain what you are describing above.

      So I went in and ensured that Facebook won’t allow anyone to look me up by number.

      But it was pretty funny to look at the profiles of the some of the douchebags πŸ˜€

    • I have various email accounts, too many really, (6 or 7 I think). My blog is not searchable, which I suppose gives me a little bit more peace of mind. I don’t do Twitter and I don’t do FB with my blog name. Only personal stuff.
      This said, someone suggested that I create a google calendar to manage the kids activities and weekends with my ex. Luckily I realized the possible dangers before I actually shared anything with anyone and realized that it linked everything with my gmail accounts. No way. So I still don’t have a calendar with my kids and ex.
      Also, I tend to take risquΓ© pictures, if only for Boobday (though I’ll miss this month’s). Or even more risquΓ© sometimes. I don’t want it to be saved with anything else that is saved directly from my phone. So basically, that picture account doesn’t get shared at all. If I want to share pictures with Real life friends, I do it from FB. If I want to share pictures with blogging friends, I do it from my phone and google accounts. And everyday, I pray that nothing in the settings will be changed without my knowledge (I’m far from tech savvy) and that these pictures won’t mix. Ever.
      I have sometimes shared a few things I read on FB or from FB and have given up my identity to blogging friends. Luckily, these are friends, so I’m not too worried πŸ™‚
      But yes, we have to be extra careful, and it’s even more complicated for non techy people like me.

  9. Yep, there’s no privacy or anonymity in Internet anymore πŸ™
    I wish I had lived in a different era. You know when people read your texts, you know when people have been last online on FB, etc, etc…

    And Yep, everything connects…to everything!
    I have both email accounts on my phone, just because I have subscribed to a few blogs (yours included) and I do enjoy reading them when I am out. So I like to have access to my ‘secret’ email on my phone. However, I have noticed that one wrong step and everything will go wrong! Even on Google hangouts (which connects to your messages), you can easily send it from the wrong email address. Not to mention that half of my apps ask me to connect to one of those accounts. It’s fine because no one uses my phone, and until now, no problems…

    Until one day. And then I will have a story to tell too πŸ™‚

    • Also, well I use my gmail account for everything. It connects to Google analytics, etc. Google+ is also good for SEO. But I suppose it’s not a problem for you, considering how many visitors you have. I am not bothered about ‘promoting’ my blog or make it searchable either. I do enjoy exchanging opinions but that’s it. That’s my secret place.

      • Well, I realized that not having Google+ affects my blogs authorship, but ultimately I don’t care about that. Or at least better said, I care more about maintaining my privacy than I do about promoting my blog.

        My blog is searchable but I don’t think many people really find or engage me from internet searches. At least, not that I’m aware of.

    • Yes yes yes, I totally agree. I was recounting an old dating story to someone recently and we paused to think about what life was like when you would leave a voicemail for someone and genuinely have no idea when they received it.

      I too like to read and comment on blogs across all my devices, and I have gmail chat for talking to a few fellow bloggers… but as has now been demonstrated twice, it’s not the best solution for me, perhaps.

      May the same thing never happen to you.

  10. I’m in a busy Latin American Airport so I can’t go into detail Ann. Here’s the short version. I have a blog, stupidly using blogger not WordPress. It was supposed to be anonymous with no linkages to my usual gmail accounts.

    I posted my email on a blog where I personally knew most of the readers. It was also completely unrelated to my topic of sucky marriages and infidelity. Google then linked my email and unused google+ profile to my now-not-so anonymous blog. I privatized my blog it as soon as I saw the link, but I see there were a few page views from some some people I probably know. I still haven’t had the courage to open it up again for public viewing.

  11. God, I’m always terrified something like this will happen. Twitter is the thing I’m especially nervous about. Imagine posting a nekkid pic to my professional/public account. Ugh.

    Good luck!

  12. *gulp* I’ve done something just like that in the past, in a moment when I completely forgot that YouTube & Google and Blogger et al are all interconnected. nerve wracking and only laughable weeks, no make that months later!

  13. There is nothing secret on the Internet anymore. I have a couple of blogs. I had started one that was going to have a lot of juicy tidbits of my life, some not necessarily true as I was trying to write a story…fiction based on some facts and my blog was going to be a way for me to organize it, write it out and get some feedback on it. No way did I want it connected to me because of my work. Something told me not to put anything besides the intro on it. Some person, whom I do not know, followed my citygirl blog, then the next day she followed my sewing blog and then a few days later I got notification she was also following my secret blog. How in the hell does that happen especially when I went through GREAT lengths to make sure the secret blog was not tied to me in any way except the secret email address???? My blogs are linked only by my wordpress login, but I did not give the permission to share that with anyone!! And one thing about Google plus I don’t like is people can follow you without your permission. WHY? and since I am in a ranting mood why would youtube make your viewing history public by default? The worst thing you can do these days is give someone your real phone number or your email address. Google and other money hungry wolves will sell your soul to them. MAKES ME SICK!!

  14. I could SO see how this could happen. I only have a Google account because I wanted to save some playlists in YouTube. I don’t use it for anything else and am always surprised when I get a ping over there.
    It IS a little scary to see how everything is connected.
    LinkedIn is another example. I have a professional and writer’s profile there and most of my co-workers know that I write. It’s no big deal, but sometimes I forget that my blog posts automatically feed into LinkedIn. My content is Rated G most times, but the once or twice I decide to have some fun…I forget that my boss (who is cool) could read it if he wanted to.
    Oy vey…I shouldn’t play with computers…most days I’m lucky to get out the door with everything in the right place.

    • I stay so far away from Linked In with anything other than my work emails and profile. It’s already a bit scary how much someone can learn about me from that site.

      Pretty funny that you have it linked, but I understand it and yes, like you would forget that I’ve posted something I may not want my boss to see!

      • I just took all forms of social media and e-mail off my iPhone. SO liberating!
        I don’t get to WP comments as quickly as I’d like, but I’m amazed how much more energy I have when I’m not looking at every little site I’m connected to. I’m tempted to dump LinkedIn, but I’m “linked” to so many great people, that I leave it there in case I find myself suddenly unemployed πŸ™‚

        • I dont use linked in all that much, only once in a while do I use my personal Twitter account. Facebook is hit and miss… but I do try to respond to all my comments here which takes a while! And sometimes I will write blog posts on my way to work, using the phone app.

          But amazing for you that you could let that stuff go!!

  15. The existence of a blog is a tricky thing when it comes to a relationship. If I have no interest in a woman, the surest way for her to leave my sight is simply to mention its existence, they’ll ask a few questions and then be gone within 15 minutes.

    The alternative is to keep quiet if I like who I am seeing and hope that at some point in the future, if a strong bond has formed, to tell her then.

    A blog is a dangerous thing that seems to ultimately involve damage control.

    • If that day comes when I meet someone I have a strong enough bond with, then it might be that my need for blogging as therapy would wane. At some point I hope to have moved past of some of the things I need to process – perhaps never – but depending on what I talk about here at that point, I might trust them with the content.

      And then I can make all the old sexy shit private πŸ™‚

    • I don’t want anyone from my “real world” to know about my blog. No best friend, no significant other, No one. Never. ever.. it’s where I spill my #nofilter thoughts and often illogical feelings. It’s something of my own. My own little secret…also..who’s to say you have to share everything….

      • I started off that way. Only one person knew. But then when I had my real life relationship with Johnny, it was getting very weird with my closest girlfriends to explain things, without the knowledge of my blog. Now one of them reads it and the other doesn’t. I would share everything here with them anyway, so I’m okay with that.

        So now a few of my friends know I blog, but not the name I use. But I haven’t been in a relationship situation where I’ve had to make a decision what to say about my blog.

        Goodness, I haven’t been in a relationship decision where I have to think about what to share about my past… so perhaps that’s the first thing to sort through πŸ™‚

        • Ha! I understand very well what you’re saying. When is the right time to tell about one’s sex blog?
          I’m thinking pretty early on I’d want to talk about it. And then much later on maybe share the URL…
          I don’t know… I guess I’ll just go with the flow πŸ™‚

          • I’m not sure, I think it would depend on the person and how open they are. Andrew knew right away – I shared my swingers club story with him (via email, not the blog link). But with Tony, I just don’t know enough yet about how he feels about such things. He is pretty private, and this is kinda the opposite of that πŸ™‚

  16. I have my blog linked to Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn (in the past). No big deal because I keep it G rated. I have too many people from church and other friends that follow me so I am careful. However… My mother recently got onto LinkedIn. And I do not want her reading anything I write. She is way to critical, not mention I have talked about my past in a few. So I disabled it from there. THANK GOD she is not tech savvy enough to find it any other way and has no idea that I even have a pen name! LOL! Glad it all turned out ok for you AGAIN! Whew! πŸ™‚

    • I’m glad it did as well too, and I’ve learned to be a bit more careful. I actually added a “signature” at the end of my ASV account so that will help me see it there when sending emails (wouldn’t have stopped the YouTube thing) but I did close down my Google+ accounts for ASV and also the email I used for online dating. And I also changed my online dating email avatar since I realized my face shouldn’t be there. That kind of thing πŸ™‚

  17. Same thing happened to me – at work. I’m a professor. I was using my personal email account to communicate with students. Figured I checked that one more often, so why not? One day a student emailed to (thankfully) alert me to the fact that anyone getting my email could click a link to the one and only Youtube video I had ever commented on…let’s just say the video I commented on was way too TMI for professional relations. I realized I’d been using this email account with multiple classes, other professors…my boss. Never. Again.

    • Yikes. It’s definitely a whole other things with teachers, I know. I have friends who don’t have facebook profiles under their real name for similar reasons – any overlap between personal and professional is frowned upon.

      (and BTW, welcome to my blog! Look forward to seeing you around)

  18. Whew! I was worried that he had found your blog before you’d had a chance to let him know about it. Speaking of – how do you plan to let him know about it? That might be a bit dicey – but then again, you only want a man who accepts you for who you really are – past, present, and all. Right?

    • I’m not sure when or how I will tell him, because we haven’t talked much about past and opinions when it comes to things sexual.

      I absolutely want someone who accepts me as I am. But I don’t know that I need to tell him everything, do I? I am worried it could all be a bit overwhelming.

      What do you think?

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  20. I’ve thought of privatizing my blog on so many occasions now and each time I talk myself out of it saying, no, no, no you are careful and have never made a mistake, you’ll be fine, blah, blah, blah.

    Then I read something like this, combined with the fact that Facebook has recently suggested I may “know” a fellow blogger. Which BTW was a bloggers anonymous sexy FB page and that “NO” I don’t know other then on WP and privatizing is sounding more and more like a good idea.

    From a security standpoint I really don’t know what more I can do. I don’t allow my phone to link or sync contacts or accounts, heck I don’t even allow apps like FB and WP access to my photos or location. I don’t know how more locked down I can be yet somehow I received that suggestion on FB to be friends with a blog I have only ever followed here on WP. Something is reading something somewhere and I don’t like it. πŸ™

    • Hmm. That is disturbing. Did you ever email or text that blogger? I know now that FB will look at contacts lists in your phone to recommend friends (I had a fun hour looking at a bunch of the douchebag’s I’d dated FB profiles). You can set it to NOT search that way for you, but you will see others.

      It’s disturbing but I’m sure you can find the source of the connection somewhere, I hope.

        • FB just does it from your contacts, which could maybe include people you haven’t saved but are just recently emailed, depending on which programs you use? It was with a recent update. I guess it thinks its being helpful.

          You have to go into FB to tell it to NOT let people look you up with your contact information. As soon as I saw guys who I didn’t ever meet but had their phone numbers in my phone, I knew something was up. Try it out – take someone’s mobile number you aren’t facebook friends with and use it to search for them on Facebook. Uncool. But handy for dating!

          • That could be it. Just fixed it in my settings so friends only. Ughhhh!!! They never had my number and we only corresponded a dozen times or so but I guess that is all it took.

            Thanks for the info. though… my blog lives to see another day. πŸ˜‰

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