Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Sunday, March 17, 2002

If I leave here tomorrow...

"If I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me?"

A question for the masses: If something were to happen to you, does any member of your family/immediate close-by circle of friends know to tell the friends you've made online?

Does your family even know about your circle of friends online? Your significant other? If you were in an accident, would we ever find out?

Missing persons, missing faces.

Do you have a "Just In Case" security net set up?

Now that the question has been posed, think on it a bit.

Despite the emotional attachment we have to friends we have made online, how much do we really know about them? A first name, maybe a last? A phone number? Maybe?

Could you, if asked, name both the first and last name of twenty of your online friends? Ten? Five?

If a story aired on the news, would you recognize the name? Their location? Or even a face?

Do you even know what most of your online friends look like?

The unfortunate reality is that there is still a line drawn between flesh and electronic. The media blasts us with the potential horrors of online stalkers and psychopaths while failing to acknowledge that the psychos would be there if you were offline as well.

One world only reflects the other. You're just as likely to be knifed in a dark alley by someone you meet in a nightclub as by someone you talk to online. You're just as likely to be raped by someone you've met in a bookstore as you are by someone you met online.

So why the fear? Why the line at all? What makes it so different if someone online asks for your phone number as opposed to someone in the flesh? Is it the immediacy of the judgement, seeing that person right there before you that you can judge worthy or not? Does the lack of a face and a voice make that great of a difference?

Or is it something simpler, that friendships made online are more disposable? You don't have to clean up after them if they come over, you don't have to throw them out if they stay too late or close the door in their faces at four a.m. You can just sign off. You don't have to get dressed up for them or wear makeup. You don't have to be dressed at all.

That convenience is a drawback when Need arises. You isolate yourself too far, and when you realize that you really need someone there, right then, there's no one but the illusion of friendships you've created because you've kept them too far away.

For you, how much "personal" information about yourself is too much?

How much personal information FROM someone is too much?

Should there be a "minimum requirement" of knowledge before you take a step to meet someone face to face?

What quality makes you decide to share your information?

Do you have am offline Contact List in case of emergency?

Do you have one for your online friends as well? If not ... why not?

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