First of all, you can’t change the past—just look at Stephen King’s protagonist in 11/23/1963 and the heap of trouble he brought upon the world by trying to prevent JFK’s death. And even if you can’t change it, something could go terribly wrong if you jumped into a time machine and just went back for a peak—once again, read Michael Crichton’s Timeline—people dying, people literally (molecularly) coming apart, etc. Not good, folks. Not good.
And if I went back for a short while? I’d miss modern conveniences almost immediately. I happen to like central heat & air. Cable TV. Cell phones. Microwaves. Booster shots against diseases. Cars. Planes. Refrigerators. iPods. Computers. And especially a modern bathroom. I can’t imagine not luxuriating in a hot shower every morning, much less taking advantage of my flush toilet and electrical outlets to blow dry my hair.
So yes, I enjoyed studying and then teaching history . . . from a distance. I can appreciate the events and what people went through (and hopefully learn something valuable from the past), but I have no desire to partake of it first-hand. I get enough pleasure writing my historical romances and visiting the past that way.
But even in my modern world of comfort, today I felt . . . icky. Why? Someone tried to break into my social media accounts. I’d already had my Twitter account jacked once while I was on vacation, and that was a horrible mess. This time? Someone in Romania was trying to log into my email account.
Thank goodness Google noticed that I’d logged on here in Texas only hours earlier, where I log in from every day unless I’m on the road somewhere, which is infrequent—and certainly not as far-flung as Romania! Google wouldn’t allow the hacker in and notified me ASAP. I was able to change my email password, and I went a step further and added on the 2-step verification. Now every time I want to log-in to my email, I’ll have to wait to receive a text message with a code that allows me to do so. One extra layer of safety in the long run won’t bother me a bit.
Hurrah that I did that previously when the Twitter account got hacked. I set up the needed verification code when that incident occurred. I’m glad I did because Mr. or Ms. Romania (I’m assuming) then tried to gain access to my Twitter account. My phone beeped, sending me my Twitter code . . . but I hadn’t tried to tweet. So I knew someone, somewhere in the world, was. It made me extremely happy that I’d put that block into place to prevent something like that from happening again.
This incident also spurred me on to change my FB and blog account user names and passwords. I only wish I had the extra layer of protection for those social media platforms, as well.
The whole incident, while not ugly, just made me feel violated. I’ve had an identity thief steal my identity before, and it brought back all those horrible memories of feeling helpless . . . and realizing just how vulnerable a person can be in this modern world of convenient technology.
I guess I’m hoping that day in the future happens soon when it takes my thumbprint to access anything. It’s already arrived with my new iPhone. I have to tap my thumb in order to use my phone nowadays, whether I want to text someone or check my calendar. I’m actually ready for the day that happens at the grocery store when I want to pay for my groceries. Or I’d be willing to flash my thumb to get on a flight or enter a stadium or concert. I love my freedoms in the good old USA, but I also value my safety and those around me. I’d give up a little freedom and be inconvenienced on occasion if it meant more protection for me and my family—and those around me, as well.
So I’m ready to post this little incident to Write Up My Alley. But wait . . . what was my new user name and password? Sigh . . .