There’s a reason people use the same log-on name and password on every friggin’ site on the internet; they do it because every friggin’ site requires we establish an account in order to interact with them beyond looking at their offerings through the internet-window.
You want to come in and browse? Set up an account, create a user name and unique password, give us your personal data, and then—and only then—will we let you in to see our wares.
Imagine if that happened at retail stores? They would have collapsed sooner than their apparent, imminent collapse.
I have 340 web sites that required me to set up an account with them in order to engage. Really? Did all 340 of them really need me to set up an account? I don’t even know if some of the accounts I have exist anymore. I’m pretty sure my MySpace account is defunct, but who knows, it could still be sitting there.
As for those accounts that contain my personal and private information—credit cards, banks, airlines—I’m glad there’s access restrictions; I’m glad I have to set up accounts with them, and dutifully use different log-on names and complicated passwords for all of them.
But somewhere in my history, I read we should never use the same password on multiple accounts. Well-behaved that one of my characters is, that means I have 340 unique log-ons. And today, for some reason, the insanity of it wacked me up side of the head. It wacked me because suddenly I thought: did all those sites really need me to do that?
Fer sure I could’ve stuck with one log-on name and password for those accounts that didn’t contain much personal information about me, but it’s too late now. Plus, when I sign up, I’m never quite sure what data trail I’ll leave behind.
Now I’m just riled. Riled that this how the internet operates; that I have 340 separate log-ons; that setting up accounts is the default; that I’ll soon have 350 accounts.
Sure, I could—should?—use a password manager. But that assumes all these accounts and their passwords are actually necessary.
I’m venting. Shaking my blogger’s fist at the internet. Expressing my road rage from my desk.
Suddenly I realized: this is why I blog. To gain clarity. To realize my being riled is a story; it’s a character in my head telling me what’s wrong with things; a character telling a story that gets me worked up.
When I realize that, I can relax. I can let her vent, note her upset, and let it go.
Yes, I have more log-ons than I’d like. Getting riled might feel satisfying, but it doesn’t change what is.