Having your phone ringing incessantly for six months will drive most people crazy, but not this woman.

While there have been instances of people Japan posting their real personal information like address and even bank account number on the Internet, the majority of netizens are wise enough to keep them private.

But what actually happens when you reveal such things to the world for all to see? To find out, our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa recently sat down with a woman who, without her express permission, had her actual phone number exposed on a massive online forum ten years ago.

▼ Seiji began the interview with Nanashi (not her real name),
now an office worker in her 30s.

Seiji: Social networking services like Twitter and Facebook were still relatively new ten years ago, so massive Internet forums were the norm. When did you realize that your phone number was leaked online?

Nanashi: I suddenly received an endless barrage of calls from private numbers. My incoming call history was immediately inundated, and my phone continued to ring late into the night. I only understood what it was when my friend confessed that she intentionally exposed my number.

Seiji: How long did the situation last?

Nanashi: The phone kept ringing for three days, then slowly abated after that. I still received the occasional prank call even half a year later.

Seiji: Why didn’t you get your friend to remove that contact number from the forum?

Nanashi: My friend said it would get worse if it was deleted and I believed it since I wasn’t familiar with Internet stuff.

▼ That is certainly a friend not worth having.

Seiji: Did you ever picked up the phone during that period?

Nanashi: Yes.

Seiji: What were the calls about?

Nanashi: Most of them were silent calls. Some people realized that my number was exposed due to the incessant ringing, and I was touched by their kindness. *Laughs*

Seiji: Were there any memorable events?

Nanashi: There was a call from a woman in Osaka. Judging from her calm voice, she must have been in her early 20s. She was worried and asked if we could meet up and talk about my current situation. I was so happy and we chatted so much.

Seiji: Wow! So did you see her?

Nanashi: I told her we could meet up but we lost contact after that. She had such a cute laugh. *Sighs*

▼ Nanashi: Possibly Japan’s most optimistic, easygoing woman.

Nanashi maintains her original number to this day as the prank calls dwindled to almost nothing about six months after the start of her ordeal. There were certainly some things she left out, like why her friend intentionally posted her contact information or why she chose not to change her phone number, but Seiji felt it was not his place to ask something so private.

Still, his heart went out to Nanashi, and he sighed and rubbed his temples as he imagined what those first few days must have felt like. He also felt a newfound appreciation for his friends in the SoraNews24 office, because as difficult as they can be to share a workplace with on some days, at least they’re not handing out his phone number on the Internet.

Images: ©SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]