Sunday, September 11, 2011

Them So-Called "Social Networks"

   If you have a computer (you do) and you're reading this (you are) you will see at the bottom of my posts, links to the "Social Networks". You know the ones. They even made a movie about the biggest one. It did well.

   These sites are the foundation of social interaction for literally millions of people. They enable the younger generations (or any generation) to interact in a way that the world has never before seen. A person in rural America can have "friends" in every country of the world. What a miraculous device!

   Have you seen the car commercial on TV (in the USA) where a girl's parents are out having fun with their friends while the daughter sits at home in front of her computer mocking her parents. She says: "I have 632 'friends'. This is living".

  Sorry. That is not living. That is becoming a shut-in slave to a computer screen. The Social Networks have enabled many folks to abstain from true social interaction in favor of a few icons on a screen and a bit of text. These are called friends. In my opinion, if you can't shake another person's hand or look into their eyes as you speak, you shouldn't call them your friends.

   How many times have we heard of underage children falling prey to someone they met on the Internet in some chat room? You really never know who you're talking to. You just don't.

   For all you know, I could be some under-tall senior citizen from Nevada... Oh yeah. I am... I could also be an internationally famous celebrity and have more money that Croesus (I wish!). The point is, I could be anyone. Lucky for you, I'm just me.

   I watched a program yesterday ( The Dr. Phil Show - I'm retired. I have a lot of free time, okay?). He featured a school teacher who was the victim of a couple of students who had used one of the Social Networks to spread vile rumors about the her. She was suing the students and their parents.

   The question was raised: "Why do you have to sue? Why can't this be settled through the school disciplinary system?"  The answer, of course is that if this had happened 25 years ago and the incident was based upon a few paper notes being passed in the classroom, it could have been handled in a low-key manner. 

   The Internet makes it difficult to turn a blind eye. Paper notes can be stopped. The Internet makes it possible to spread idle gossip to a world wide audience. Unfortunately, most everyone will believe what they read on the Internet. Remember that everyone who has access to a computer can have access to everything you write.


   I started my Blog just a few days ago and I've already had readers from Canada, Germany and India. (Wow! I'm Famous)  Once you write something and press the "Send" or "Submit" button on your computer it becomes the personal knowledge of everyone who has access to a computer. I'm here to tell you that there's a lot of computers out there.

   Listen to The Geezer: If you don't want everyone to know your secrets, and everyone has them, don't put them on your computer and push "Send". Also, please be careful who you share your life with. If you haven't met them in person, they're not really your friends.

Really, they're not.



I'd be interested to hear your comments. Thanks for reading The Geezer Guide!