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One Cobble at a Time

Being on Skype while Female

Sandra Tayler's Journal

responsible woman

A cobble by itself is just a small stone, but when many of them lay together they create a path . My life is made up of many discrete parts. I have to find ways to fit them all into place so that I can continue to journey where I desire to go. This journal records some of the cobbles that create my path.

Being on Skype while Female

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responsible woman

I resisted getting a Skype account for many years. I just didn’t feel a need for it. Then my daughter went to college and suddenly Skype offered a valuable way to keep in touch with her. I installed it and learned how to use it. That was lovely.

What was less lovely was that I kept getting pinged by strangers who wanted to add me to their contact list. The profiles all had male pictures and the messages were usually along the lines of “I saw your profile and thought you were beautiful. Want to chat?” So I removed the webcam shot of myself as the profile image. It wasn’t a great picture anyway, but it did make me visibly female. That slowed the contact requests for a while. But it did not stop them.

This past week the rate of contact requests increased a lot. I’ve no idea why. It was getting annoying. I wanted Skype to be a private place for me and my kid to communicate. I didn’t want it to be social. Blocking the requests was fairly easy, but they kept coming. So I went to my profile and set my gender to blank. The contacts still kept coming. I finally resorted to renaming myself on Skype to something that sounded neutral-to-male. The combination of all these things appears to have worked. I’m glad I found a solution to my problem. I’m sad that being on Skype while female = available for romantic solicitation.

Comments are open on the original post at onecobble.com.

  • That's frustrating. I've had a few such requests, myself, though I doubt the veracity of several of them. However, based on conversations with friends, I suspect that, as a male, the rate at which they have happened to me is significantly lower than the rate at which you have received them. I just don't get people sometimes...
  • I'm sorry it has turned out that way for you. Your case is proof that being able to block calls that don't come from your contact list (whitelist) isn't sufficient to address the issue of blocking requests to be on the contact list.

    I've used Skype only a couple of times, when required for job interviews or a certain client's meetings. After seeing how easily the "invisible" settings were circumvented, I decided they used a radically different definition of "privacy" than I did, and so Skype in our house lives on only one box, that is booted up only when we need it. Unlike you, I don't have someone I'd love to chat online with several hours a week, well, except for my husband and we have cell phones with unlimited minutes for that :)

    Maybe ... hoping without hope ... the attention being paid to online harassment will result in Skype finally implementing those types of features and we all can benefit.


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