Monday, April 13, 2009

Polly Says Don't Touch The Animals...

It is important for all of us bloggers and serial commentators to remember that anything which is expressed on the internet is there for anyone to see, and what's more, it will be there ad infinitum. In a nutshell, this means that it is imperative that we keep our thinking caps on at all times, while using such a public medium.

Get Off My Meusli... (Beware Wild Things Bite!)

What truly scares me is the plethora of young internet/forum users who give out their names, ages and all kinds of personal details in places such as Bebo. One such person uses profanities at each and every opportunity given, and yet in the real world is one of the nicest, quietest people you could hope to bump into.

Another person, with whom I am barely acquainted boasts about how much they drink and their drunken antics on line, again they have a good background and many solid achievements to be proud of. In a world where employers are stooping to any means to determine which of the thousands of equally qualified candidates to employ for just one post, one has to ask if either of these lovely young people would even be considered. When their equally qualified peers from the same village have perfectly respectable profiles and walls up on the same forum who would you employ?

Another equally foolish example of misuse of social media is the Bebo page of a ten year old boy attending the local school. In it he give details of his whereabouts, likes and dislikes, etc. It is also clear that he hangs around with youngsters almost twice his age, whose social activities are anything but suitable for a child of his age. It makes my hair curl, scares me and revolts me all at the same time...

Should I intervene? Is it my place to be the moral, spiritual and everything else guardian of these kids? Does the fact that I've visited their Bebo pages make me the baddie? Or should their parents take them aside and explain to them that nothing is private or safe in the social media, unless done anonymously, and even then things can be traced back.

In my own defence, I must state that I encountered all three of these Bebo pages while searching for information on my own village, by name using the Google search facility. In response to my query Google threw up a fascinating gamut of information. This ranged from the Revenue Commissioner 's publication of tax defaulters to stories of garden parties held at the turn of the last century and drunken revellers being prosecuted by the areas most notorious alcoholic of all! And yes, I did feel a bit like a peeping Tom, but thankfully my own life is rich and satisfying, leaving me in the envious position of not having to live life *vicariously or through the eyes of others...

No-one's safe any time, any place!

I suppose the moral of the story is just "Be Careful!" As lovely as these photo's are, they are fairly typical of things biting back, not only did this New Forest Donkey break into my tent and steal my breakfast cereal, she broke the zipper on my tent!


1. performed, exercised, received, or suffered in place of another: vicarious punishment.
2. taking the place of another person or thing; acting or serving as a substitute.
3. felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others: a vicarious thrill.
4. Physiology. noting or pertaining to a situation in which one organ performs part of the functions normally performed by another.

1630–40; < class="ital-inline">vicārius substituting, equiv. to vic(is) (gen.) interchange, alternation (see vice 3 ), + -ārius -ary; see -ous

(vicarious. Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. (accessed: April 13, 2009).)

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