I remember the day I lost my cyberspace virginity…do you remember your first time?
Flashback…I had first thought my co-worker had been talking about someone cool that she was hanging out with named “Earl”… She had said something about how she had got to him. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that Earl was not a he, but was an address, a place in cyberspace, and was spelled “U-R-L.”
You see, I was a cyberspace virgin at the time…oh, I had a PC, mind you…but my world had been limited to a hard drive. I still remember that first time…that first involvement with Earl. That first website access: a confusing series of letters, names, punctuation and slashes.
I remember how hard it was for me to remember which slash was which (forward or backward)…position definitely did matter in Earl’s world.
A few years ago I finally signed up for a Facebook account after several friends who post their photos online sent me requests to “JOIN!” I felt a bit strong-armed into it, but when I received yet another friend’s, “Either sign up or never see me or my photos again…” (Well, they really didn’t say that exactly), I finally relented and signed up. It only took about a week for me to realize that Facebook might just be some evil sociologist’s grand social etiquette experiment…it is just so prone to social “collisions”…read on.
We’re Friends, Yet Worlds Apart: Contrary Political and/or Religions Beliefs:
Ever Wonder How You Are Friends with So Many People Who Wouldn’t be Friends with Each Other?
It didn’t take me long to regret a Facebook post; because it didn’t take me long to realize that my friends and family on FB were a very diverse collection of folks, especially relating to political and religious views. My friends list consisted of conservatives and liberals, atheists and strict fundamentalists, and everything in between.
I had decided to post a video of a gay-rights speech that a friend of mine had posted on his wall. I thought it was very powerful, moving and right on target so I immediately wanted to “share” it on my own FB wall. It echoed my strong beliefs on the subject, so I ventured out of my privacy zone and posted it. Just like that. Easy…and isn’t that what FB is all about, sharing your life and thoughts with people in your life?
The Virtual You. An interesting concept. You die, and leave the bread crumbs of your life in so many places on the Internet….what will happen to those floating remnants of you, when you’re gone?
Your Virtual DNA in the Internet Cloud
I was desperately looking around for an online password earlier today…you know how that goes, you have some scheme whereby you cleverly document all of those pesky passwords, something accessible yet a bit out of the way so midnight ninjas won’t come in and steal them.
I have a folder in a file drawer (oops, now I’ll have to move it elsewhere I guess) that I use for mine. It started out as an organized list, with only a few entries…but fast became a folder full of little sticky notes that provided usernames and passwords to every imaginable site.
Signing up for an account always seems necessary at the time. “Sign up or we won’t help you”, basically…so I do. Today, I counted about 120 sites referenced in my folder. 120 sites that contain the “virtual me”. I don’t use most of them now, but my virtual DNA is still there, sitting in some company’s database up in the internet cloud…and one wonders what info is tagged to that “me” out there…birth-date, maybe a credit card number, some purchase preferences…oh, I shudder to think of it.