Do Not Track

I was passing comments back and forth with another blogger who shared his concerns about privacy while online. He mentioned that he uses a site called Do Not Track. Their website states, “Ad companies and social networks are tracking everything you do on the web. They know what sites you visit, when you visit them and how often you do…” I asked myself the question, does it bother me that friends and family track what I do, where I go, etc.  Do I have boundary issues – or do I have trust issues?

Boundaries are very necessary and yet difficult to navigate in some relationships. Who do you allow into your inner circle? Do you even have an inner circle? Most importantly, do you know why you have set up boundaries for certain people and specific situations?

I was recently transferred from someone’s inner circle to their outer circle. Their life became very complicated. Like many of you, they had struggles with financial, medical, and other woes of life. We were not best friends, but certainly had confided in each other through the years. When troubles came, the walls came up and the gates were locked. That being said, I really do understand their fears and concerns regarding who to trust and how much trust to give to others.

As troubles mounted one on top of another, I shared with my husband that we needed to help them. Oh, we did some small things. We helped in the ‘expected’ ways. It wasn’t enough, and we knew it. We felt led to do something BIG. We tried many times to initiate conversation. ‘Is there a good time to stop by?’ ‘How long will you be here?’ ‘Will you be around next weekend?’ ‘How are you doing?’ ‘Is there anything you need?’

““Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.” – Sir Isaac Newton

The walls went higher and higher. We tried even more to break them down.

The problem with building such a high fortress around yourself is that once built, it takes much more work to tear it down.

We eventually resigned ourselves to the fact that they didn’t seem to want our help. I must tell you, I still feel sad about it. At every turn, we were turned away. I have struggled in the decision to share this story because we like to keep our giving a private matter.

Is there anyone today that you are blocking out of your life who might instead be a blessing? Boundaries are healthy and necessary, no question. Is there an area where you need to take down some of the bricks and build a bridge in its place?

“Self-acceptance comes from meeting life’s challenges vigorously. Don’t numb yourself to your trials and difficulties, nor build mental walls to exclude pain from your life. You will find peace not by trying to escape your problems, but by confronting them courageously. You will find peace not in denial, but in victory.” – J. Don Walters


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19 thoughts on “Do Not Track

  1. purplepug13 September 25, 2012 at 7:21 am Reply

    I am always fascinated on discussions of boundaries. Usually I think of the larger picture when I think of them, but you are right…..we definitely set individual boundaries with our friends and may have to rethink that! Hope you don’t mind if I expound on this in one of my blogs.


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 25, 2012 at 8:03 am Reply

      I would love to hear what you have to say. It is something I have to give myself regular checks on. Please let me know when you have posted it.


  2. Pat September 25, 2012 at 7:32 am Reply

    Think we have been followed around for a good many years and someone somewhere probably knows more about us than we do.
    Don’t particularly like it, but guess by now there is little I can do about it. The advent of the credit card/debit card put paid to anonymity. Shop loyalty schemes banged it on the head for ever. Once you include the internet, not worth worrying about.
    Answers: use cash all the time. Don’t use the internet, don’t use the mobile phone, don’t visit supermarkets, in fact, don’t go out (cameras everywhere).
    Big Brother has been here for years. As long as he can’t see inside your head, figure we’re OK.


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 25, 2012 at 8:04 am Reply

      I agree. It is rather like unplucking a duck, as they say. I think it is going to move forward instead of backward. We just have to choose how we will respond, as you said.


      • Pat September 25, 2012 at 8:15 am

        Trouble is, like unplucking that duck, it is impossible to unlearn stuff. The technology is out there, for good or ill..


  3. writerwannabe763 September 25, 2012 at 9:22 am Reply

    You made a very good point. Sadly when people run into difficulties they pull away from others as in this case. And sadly in other cases such as when people have for example ‘depression’ such as I did people ran away from me…they didn’t know what to do and while I understood this..all they had to do was ‘be there’. In your case you have let them know who they can turn to if and when they are ready to accept help…That’s all you can do…Diane


  4. jmd5717 September 25, 2012 at 9:34 am Reply

    I know several people who need to read this, in fact not just read it, but actually understand it. Well done!


  5. widemargin September 25, 2012 at 10:11 am Reply

    I think situations like yours show how important it is to maintain friendships and confidentialities when the going is good. At least then we’ve the best chance of supporting/being supported when difficulties come along, as trust is already in place. It doesn’t always work, as your situation shows, but at least you’ve done what you can, and are best placed for help. At least you’ve tried, and maybe one day your friend will realize that. I hope so!


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm Reply

      I agree, it is so important to maintain those relationships and yet we sometimes fail to recognize it until it is far too late. I’ve been on the giving and receiving end many times.


  6. angelreformed September 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm Reply

    Its so awesome and funny that you should post about this. I pretty much am very open about a lot of things, but when it comes to certain struggles, I don’t really open up to everyone, just certain brothers and sisters (especially older ones in the faith) who I feel would know much more than I do and would be able to understand and help me better.

    But, I also just recently started spending more time with my good friend Noelle–she’s a believer, and though I don’t know much about her relationship with God, I’m definitely starting to see that she really understand (or is beginning to) the power and importance of prayer. (Which is awesome, because after getting angry with her and another friend–righteously so–about how they just didn’t get the importance of prayer, I prayed that they will begin to understand it, and I’ve definitely noticed the changes. xD)

    But, since I have a close friend that I see everyday–for the most part–that sort of gets it, I came to her not just with the intentions of helping her and pouring into her like before, but also with sharing my troubles and asking her if she has any prayer requests and we just hold hands and pray together now. ^.^

    God has helped me understand a lot more about fellowshipping and what it means and looks like, and how to be a good friends, encourager, and a good example of what it means to live this life for Him.


  7. Kristin Barton Cuthriell September 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm Reply

    Great post. Educating people about healthy boundaries is an big part of my job as a therapist. They are very important in relationships!


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 26, 2012 at 12:11 am Reply

      Thank you. I would love to hear more from you about the topic. I would love to have you as a guest on my blog if interested.


  8. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman September 26, 2012 at 9:18 am Reply

    The past few years I have been tearing down the walls that I was hiding behind and building healthier boundaries with friends and family. Thank you for your insight it reaffirms what I have been doing. Blessings – Patty


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 26, 2012 at 9:20 am Reply

      It is difficult but rewarding, isn’t it?


      • thoughtsfromanamericanwoman September 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

        Most definitely – God has indeed blessed me with the strength of David to knock those walls down and defeating my giants!


  9. Melissmor September 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm Reply

    Lovely, God bless your heart. You are such a wonderful person and yes, it hurts at times when people turn away our help when we just want to see things materialize for them, especially when it’s someone you’ve known so long.

    I hope things change for the better in your friend’s situation and also in terms of you both being able to return to some level of similar grounds regarding your friendship.


    • Overwhelmed By Joy September 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm Reply

      I hope her situation improves also. We still have contact, just have more distance there. I know that when one door closes, another one is waiting to open. There are so many people in need of help!


      • Melissmor September 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        Yes, that is also true. It’s a bit weird how fear really brings out the best and worst in us, just give her some time and as you have already begun, lift her name up into Jesus and just pray for the best and the restoration of your friendship, He’ll do the rest.

        Indeed there are a great number of people in need of our help, reaching out feels good, especially when we know that even though we may not be able to solve someone’s problem 100%, we can help bring them closer to their goal.

        Woo hoo – You’re on the right track!


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