Saturday, March 30, 2013

On-line Safety and Bubbles.

I've just realized I live in a bubble. Well, maybe not JUST realized, but... I am realizing that it really does show how much I live in this little 2000 square foot bubble.

I am a member of several forums from photography to mom's to DIY and construction and a few odd bits in between for excitement. I do know that this is the INTERNET. People can be as stupid as they please here and no one will ever know.
In the immortal words of Brad Paisley: "I'm so much cooler on-line."

I really do love Brad Paisley. He's got a great sense of irony and sarcasm! We're kindred spirits.

Back to my bubble.

As I was perusing the forums this morning I ran across some posts that really got me to thinking that "people really should get out more."
Then I looked at where I was sitting. AND what I was wearing.
Which prompted me to thinking: if I am thinking that these people on-line really should get out more-as I sit here in my pajamas, looking like day old sushi with NO plans to get dressed (if I don't get dressed I don't have to go outside my house)-there might just be a problem. "Those People" must NEVER leave their homes! That got me to worrying about Those People.

A lot.

They must not ever be allowed to leave their homes to get out into the real world!


Which is totally not the topic of this post. Of course, if you have read any of my other posts before this one you already know that I must be an attention deficit child because I tend to go off on a LOT of tangents. But, in each one of my posts I really do (eventually) get back to the topic at hand: The posts that got me to thinking to begin with and the bubble.

Today's post was in a mom forum and it was one of those ones that could, plausibly, be a real person. So off I go to help said person who is just distraught and needs help, guidance and support from all of us worldly wise mom's who actually get out of our houses once in a while. Do you see the irony there? If you are posting in an on-line forum of mom's who are answering you on a daily basis the chances that they are OUTSIDE their bubble? Slim. Just look at where I am. And what I am wearing AND why I am wearing what I am wearing-I don't WANT to leave my bubble to see the real world. It's scary out there!

Did I ever mention that I have a problem with run on sentences? If you could hear me TALK those run on sentences are great. Maybe a bit funny even. In writing? Not so much.
I have REALLY got to see the doctor about that ADD thing.

Back to helping this poor, distraught mom who has been wronged by the world. Did I stop to think that Poor Mom's story was a little "itchy?" Nope. Not at all-because I live in a bubble. From my bubble I am saving MomKind everywhere with my wisdom, compassion, caring and guidance.

What is  an "itchy" story, you might ask. Well, it's the story that is just enough of plausible that you can believe it, but then again it's just enough of outside the norm that it makes you say "hmmmm"

But, you give the original poster the benefit of the doubt. After all, MOST people on the internet are real, honest people. You only run into those few once or twice in a lifetime, right? 

I also ran across a troll yesterday, so this one can't possibly be one of THEM. I've met my quota.

So, I answer her back with compassion, empathy, firm advice, a dose of common sense with a personal life lesson to let her know that she's not the only one who has been wronged by the world. In my defense I do have to mention that I am not the only one who answered as if it were a real live person on the other end of the computer. Some of us even answered her a couple of times

OK... it is live person behind that computer; just not one that needed the advice she was asking for.
Not that I've figured that out at this point. NOOOOOO! I am still concerned about her and ready to help her slay dragons!

Then she comes back with some more suspicious, but plausible claims. Hmmmmmm... itchy.  As she answers those of us who are ALL real, worldly people, those claims get even more bizarre. And grotesque. And really really really outlandish. Even predators, abused women and children and those living in that kind of environment know not to say that shit. Ever. Anywhere. Not even online. Anonymously. This is where it finally dawns on me: she is a TROLL!

Here is where we actually get to the "got me to thinking" part of this...

WHY do people troll? WHY? What the heck can you get out of that? AND!!! Don't you have anything better to do? What is the point?

I am an idiot. Slow witted and all. It hasn't even dawned on me yet that this isn't a mom at all. My sheltered little brain is STILL thinking LOGICALLY. We are in a forum that you have to be a MOM to be a member of. She MUST be a mom, right? She MUST have children and she must be female. Or at least he feminine part of a gay couple. Though I am not so sure a feminine gay guy would join a mom's forum, but I'd still be OK with that.

Do you know that it took me until someone else said "... there do seem to be a shit ton of trolls this week. Lots of kids on spring break."
DUH??? She doesn't have to be a mom or an adult or have children or even a woman! "She" is probably some pimply and plump 13 year old boy who had sex ed last semester and is on spring break.

The point or the why of trolling would be to get idiots like me to answer. Then to laugh at how stupid I am. I bit and swallowed that one hook, line, sinker, pole, reel and right up that little troll's short, fat, little, pimply arm. {insert huge face palm}

Now that I have rambled on through this story, as I always do, you might be wondering what the moral of the story is. I am not sure there is a MORAL to be had here, but I do need to wrap all of this up in my closing paragraph. Somehow... Without leaving you hanging for the end and scratching your head saying "hmmmmmm, that 'lady' is a nut job." I've never claimed total sanity so, that may well be true. BUT...

Closing this story: I live in a bubble. I really do. I am sheltered and I really kind of like it that way. No one needs to come rescue me. Besides, if you did come rescue me you'd probably be scared shitless when I answer the door in my Scottie dog PJ's that say Jingle All The Way looking like yesterday's sushi. Hopefully I don't smell like yesterday's sushi, but it's not a pretty sight. Not sure why my husband even comes home if he has to see THAT every day. I am not always this slovenly and lazy. Spring supposedly started 8 days ago and this is the view out of my living room today.

Back to the moral of the story and all that: Being the "oh-so-worldly and wise" mom that I am I harp on my children about those troll people constantly. They've been educated 7 ways to Sunday about how people aren't who they say they are on the internet; the dangers of internet friendships and all of that. I am the one who has educated them in this!!! Yet I can't even manage to figure it out for myself!
I have GOT to get out of my bubble more often and see REAL people-not those cool on-line people. I've also put a nice little sticker on my monitor to remind me that people are "so much cooler online."

You can't fix stupid. I've tried.

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