Wednesday, 7 April 2010


How often have I been warned not to be too trusting?

Probably as often as I have thought I will not go through life with reservations, suspicions and fear.
As far as I can see people are potentially good and kind, and more often than not, there is a valid reason if they do not live up to those expectations.
Consequently, I suppose, I have been conned, robbed, taken advantage of in some way or other, more often than most.
I accept that as the price you must pay for naively embracing our fellow human beings and society in general.

Hopefully it will never be too much to pay.

Why am I saying this?
I have been wondering about a whole new danger zone, intangible, invisible, but not less harmful than the grabbing fingers, the school bullies, the knife that stabs you in the back.
An exciting place to meet new people, to make friends.
Here you can feel someone's presence at your very fingertips, magically believe you can trust and confide in a way you may never have done were you actually face-to-face with this person.
But internet contact has no room for body language, it doesn't show the tears in ones eyes, scorn in words spoken, a loving touch, the good and the bad intentions, the fine nuances and subtleties that can make all the difference.
 These are not transmitted when 'send' is pressed.

We live in a world full of warnings.
You find them on cigarette packs, drugs, booze, zoos, trains, areas considered unsafe.
Your mum warned you not to talk to strangers.
Why don't email accounts come with a warning?
'To be used with discretion'
'This product is potentially harmful to your relationships'
'Do not use in sensitive situations'

We are vulnerable.
Moreover because the potential harm is not visible, we are not using all of our instincts.
How high is the price of being lied to, financially duped or worse, robbed of your trust, your dignity, when you can't size up the opponent, when you had no idea of the odds?

By now, I have met quite a few nice and interesting people on the internet.
Probably by and large a representation of the people you meet in real life. But I am not sure I would have struck up an acquaintance with any or all of them, had we met in a different way.
That is a strange thought.
Maybe that is one of the wonderful things about 'internet friendships' - you get to know, in a special way, people you might otherwise have passed by, for whatever reason.

I have yet to really meet one of them though.

Can't wait to report back on that, if ever, if anyone dares....................

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