This is a topic that has been on my mind ever since I started blogging. But, it somehow always took a back seat. Uma’s post today truly made me want to write this piece.
The reasons internet became a sudden rage were very obvious: Information was no longer a rare commodity. It was available a click away. It appealed to all the masses because of the variety of things it had on offer.. There was a little some thing for every one. It was as if, internet had become a world of its own! People started calling it the virtual world. The virtual proximity people enjoyed was infectious.
You could chat with anyone in the world, without having to reveal your true identity or even show your real face/name. A certain amount of anonymity was associated with whatever you did on the internet. You could visit any site, do anything on the internet and no one would every know! (At least that is how it was back then when Internet was an infant)
All of this gave a certain sense of freedom to all and sundry. The introverted types could remain on the background and still make friends in the plethora of chat rooms! People started developing mixed personalities – people that they were in “real” life and what they wanted to be/were in the “virtual” world. It gave wings to the birds dying to fly out and explore the world. Something within them or around them prevented them from doing so in the real life… but in the virtual life, there was no stopping… no inhibitions whatsoever…
And then came blogging. People started blogging – about their lives… about everything they felt about! Blogs soon turned into an online digital diary, where one could write what they wanted without being penalised for the same. It also came with the advantage of regular readers/blogger friends one would make during the course of blogging. It is not surprising for like minded people to come together and form a blogger-friend circle.
I know many people who also met up with their blogger friends. There was no discomfort, since they already knew each other through their blogs! Maybe even better than their “real” close friends. The virtuality that surrounded the internet, was slowly fading into reality. People started getting obssessed with their blogs and maybe sometimes even ignoring their old friends (people they actually knew) or families, because their minds would be preoccupied with their blogs and blogging friends. Now, all this is not bad. But definitely has the potential of going out of control. Anything that has good aspects attached to it, also comes with the other side of the same coin.
While I have known people who got married to people they met on a chat room, internet has also ruined many a lives.
So much freedom could mean just one thing: this was soon to turn into a Frankenstein. There were numerous criminal incidents reported on the ugly side of internet. The pictures people innocently posted on the web started being published in nude forms else where. There were also many incidents of internet-arranged blind dates turning ugly.
So, my dear readers, please enjoy the freedom that comes along with being on the internet, but be sure not to abuse it nor to put yourself in a soft spot, where you make yourself vulnerable to any kind of threat!
Finally, I guess, it is about being in touch with your inner self and being true to who you are. Once you have that inner reality check on all the time and with a little bit of vigilance on your side, I am sure you will be able to thwart any monster that comes your way! 🙂