Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Internet Interconnecting

One aspect about the internet that never fails to be most intriguing: the way one can learn select idiosyncrasies about individuals they've never met and most likely probably never will.

Be it via a blog site, Facebook thread, or what-have-you, one can grasp the attitudes, belief systems, lifestyles, interests, and even political and religious beliefs of total strangers---many the type-of-person who, if one met them in person, would ever give one much more than the time-of-day.
Certainly not the kind who'd ever take too well to discussing aspects of their personal lives with one (i.e.: family members, religion, occupation), nor to divulge any of the other somewhat superficial semi-personal areas of the kind they often discuss either on their websites or with their Facebook friends and relatives.

Yet, their sites are "open" enough one can still learn about some of these same (usually quite "in-general" stuff) areas of these people's lives on one's own---without doing anything illicit or unauthorized. If one, for example, has a Facebook account, there are still a number of individuals one could "follow" on a regular basis if they so desire. And actually learn about a few substantial "odds-and-ends" about said person in the process.

However---if one should ever, by any chance, come face-to-face with any of these individuals, it's a sure bet one would not even dare mention to that person that they know certain things about their life. Nor would you ever want that person to know that you even know their name---they are, after all, total strangers. You're not a part of their life---even if you DO know where they went to high school, or where they went to college (and even whether or not they graduated) , or where they work, or who some of their relatives are, or the name of their wife or husband---or of their parents or offspring ...

...yes, the internet can "connect" you to the lives of people who, themselves, would---if they knew who you were---probably have nothing to do with you ...or, maybe, be friendly enough toward you, yet still quite "secretive" about even some of the shallowest areas of their lives. 

Sort of a perverse way to exercise an ounce of "power-and-control" over another without them ever knowing about it. But that's one of the cyber-advantages this here internet entails: that of creating the illusion of making "human contact" with someone---even when, in reality, there is not the slightest bit of intimacy to be found between you and them.

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