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sg1 poke

Fear and the Internet

I posted that query the other day regarding live journal journaling and how deep and personal to get in this public forum. It got me thinking about fear of the Internet and how deeply it runs through society. The reason I removed my journal entry and replaced it with the query is that my husband felt very uncomfortable with my ruminations due to the public nature of the lj. He had a good point--not to inadvertently hurt someone through thoughtless posting.

On the other hand, I am constantly battling an irrational fear of the Internet both from my volunteer organizations and my work. I get questions about trusting the people I meet here and on Kansas (whom I guess I instinctively trust as "real" and truly who they say they are). I fight to get information posted on web sites --such as calendar dates, links outside of a site for information, and so forth. Links scare the shit out of people for some reason. I can't set up bulletin boards for managerial conversations because people are afraid of conflict and sharing information. I think we have to have a paradigm shift before we can truly use the Internet for virtual work.

President Bush's stupid Pornography Week thing is also a consequence of fear of the new. Pornographic sites are idiotic but they have a right to exist. Most of them require payment to enter. Teenagers ARE going to hunt them out. There are private ways to parent to ensure that our children are safe. Banning pornography typically has the unforeseen consequence of squelching legitimate writing and photography. It is what Big Brother did in "1984." Much of the fear is fear of the Internet blown in by media over coverage.

The media blows any incident of predation on the Internet way out of proportion making it seem like it happens everywhere. Identity theft is the big cause du jour--one has to be careful everywhere and the Internet is just another vehicle for criminals. You can't live your life in a bubble.

Then there is the fear of computers that causes such laughable incidents as the one mentioned recently here where a girl didn't understand that she got Spammed with pornography.

I know I am rambling trying to get my thoughts in order. I just am waiting for the day when this fear of the unknown goes away and we can learn to use this technology to enhance our communication.


It's not foolish to be aware of the public nature of internet. I chose a screen name that was also my real life nickname... because of that choice I've had many people from my real life find me online including a stalker-like admirerer. I wish I had chosen my screen name more wisely.

Anyway just wanted to say, yep, the internet isn't as anonomous as we like to think.