Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

This was the Daily Prompt for blogging today. Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you. Mmmm…. I couldn’t resist as the thing  I was thinking about earlier, I was considering writing about anyway.

I once had an internet relationship. It seems like a lifetime ago really and it was when I was in my late teens and quite naïve. My main relationships with the internet now are this blog, my love for eBay and amazon, and my hatred for when the internet crashes.

But no, I actually met someone online and then went on to meet them offline, after talking for a year. The whole thing seems so surreal now and like I’m talking about someone else. I started talking to this lad through MSN chat. You remember that? I used to think long and hard about my username and font colour – depending on my mood (my friends and I spent many an evening having ‘groupy’ chats, which sounds so wrong now but was so cool that we could all chat at once!) Anyway, I’m not sure how this lad ended up adding me but we started chatting. Just friendly banter, after the initial A/S/L question (Age sex location for those who didn’t use the internet in the early 2ooos!)

It was great to talk to someone online, whom I didn’t know. We chatted about everything and anything. He was funny and loved to chat like me! I hadn’t really found a man who seemed to love ‘chatting’ up to now and it was exhilarating!

It became a bit of a routine to chat every night, but a good one. It was like having a relationship but just in the early evening. At this point in time, I had started University so this fitted in perfectly. Lectures in the day, online ‘boyfriend’ in the evening and then either going out or sleeping at night. It became quite intense to be honest, like a drug. I had not met this person but I felt very attached and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction. Before, you say, it wasn’t an old, creepy man – because he used to put a webcam on so I could see him. No, I am not talking about anything untoward here – it was all perfectly and innocent and he only showed me himself on webcam as a way to prove who he was, I guess. I’m not telling you this to admit something sordid and sexual. I am telling you because I think it is interesting how human nature can form relationships without physically meeting.

We spoke on the net for a year, eventually exchanging mobile numbers. We used to text and chat on the phone then too. It was very thrilling to receive the said texts and phone calls. A stranger but someone whom I felt I knew well.

We had both broken up with partners, which was I think was why we became close. We decided to meet in the flesh. Scary though. No screen of separation. No coming up with witty online and text replies; it would all be real-life and real instant chatting.

He was local so I went to meet him in a shopping centre. I was safe and took my sister and her friends with me. We had a nice day. It was ‘nice’ and not really a lot more to be honest. We got on and I was attracted to him, yes. But it was far more exciting when it was all online and after that nothing more came of it. He got a new partner and I got with my current boyfriend. No more chats and that was it.

I don’t regret it at all. It was a fascinating experience – like a whirl wind, cyber love. That of course, I now realise was no form of love whatsoever. But simply internet banter and someone at the end of a screen to read, listen and type comforting and confidence building comments back. Something we both needed at that particular point in our lives. And something that I will never forget.

 

I invite you to do the same and tell us something that not many people know about you………….. 😉

N.B I am not advising or promoting teenagers to go and meet people they have met on the internet. I was 19 and had a good head on my shoulders. I spoke to this guy for over a year and, as I said, I managed to get proof of who he really was. If you are going to take the step to meet someone like this, then do what I did and meet them in a public place and take people with you.

XSXS

Screening their Humanity

I came across a post on Facebook last night because one of my friends ‘liked’ it. It was an open, public post where a woman had wrote on the British Gas page. She was sharing a story of how her daughter had been choking that afternoon and a British Gas worker, who was with her neighbour, had shot round to come and help her daughter because she was too shocked to do so. She was mainly posting to thank this man and give him the public recognition he deserves. She also gave a few other details about the fact she hadn’t had time to get the man’s name but she had called her husband in panic for him to come home. The husband managed to get the gas man’s number plate, whilst the mother was comforting the daughter we assume. All a nice story right? My first thought was, ‘wow a positive story for once!’ My second thought was ‘oooh a lot of comments, that’s great!’

Some comments were congratulating and lovely, but others? Well I was shocked and disgusted. I would say the comments were 50/50 and nobody was sitting on the fence with this issue. Issue? Yes, I didn’t think there was one either. I just thought people would show concern for the mother, the daughter and give praise to the gas man. It is amazing what people say when they are safely tucked away behind a screen. People were criticising the mother for not doing first aid herself, when she had claimed to have had tried but she was in shock. One comment actually read, ‘you are a tool of a mother!’  Can you imagine someone saying that in person if they were told about this in the street? People think they can say anything on these threads and they are purposely put there to give their opinion. People were also saying ‘how he is going to see that on here? You’re just doing this to get ‘likes,’ you sad person!’  Er, pot, kettle black?! So what if she does want to get ‘likes’? That isn’t really the point here. She wanted to publically give her appreciation and hopefully the message would get back to him somehow. Isn’t that one of the advantages of a social networking site? She wanted to show off the good deed he had done and share some good news for once. I did actually post a comment to say, ‘It is nice to hear good news for once. It is clear we don’t get enough good news as people are trying to draw the negative out of it and it is making them cynical and bitter.’ I was so appalled by what I was reading on there. Some people were even giving advice on what the mother should have done in their opinion, yet the advice was wrong!! Never put your fingers down someone’s throat when they are choking! This stupid man seemed to think this is what the mother should have been doing rather than runnig out panicked in the street. If he knew anything, he would know that this would have most likely pushed the object further down causing it to become even more stuck. (I’ve included the procedure at the bottom.)

Some people had actually gone onto her profile and noticed the day before she had ‘liked’ the British Gas page. This was sinister apparently and all part of this ‘set-up’. How ridiculous! Surely it was a coincidence and meant to be that she ‘liked’ them since one of their workers was going to save her daughter’s life the following day. As if she would create a scenario about her daughter choking in order to post on the page or to win a holiday as some people put. Some also thought she had relatives working for British Gas and this was a way of putting them in a forgiving light after all the increased prices. Again, absurd! I do really worry how people’s minds work! I wouldn’t dream of coming to these conclusions! Again, the big picture is being missed by so many people. It wasn’t about British Gas, who the man worked for, how she knew the man or how she got in touch with people about it. At the end of the day, an everyday, ordinary man helped save another’s life. I had some faith in humanity restored…. until I read the comments and realised there is still a lot cynical, sly, untrusting, spiteful scum out there.

Some people were actually researching the number plate to either prove the man was actually from British Gas or to be helpful and track him down… I wasn’t quite sure what the intentions were there. I assumed, after all the other negative comments, that it was for suspicious reasons. The old saying from Thumper in Bambicomes to mind; ‘If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all.’ Even though that has always bugged me that it is a double negative and actually means the opposite! I guess the opposite is what many of them followed!

I know, realistically people aren’t all going to send their best wishes. People are always going to disagree and have different theories about things but it was just so saddening to see some of the thoughts. Taking a heroic, happy incident and ripping it apart in their own free time. That was another thing I didn’t get and that was the fact that they were moaning about her putting it on Facebook, yet they were reading it and commenting on it on Facebook. People sit in their computer chairs or with their laptops balanced on their knees and think they have the right to give their twisted opinion and then complain that the thread shouldn’t be there in the first place. Well guys, if you didn’t comment then threads like that wouldn’t exist. And if just the decent people commented then threads would be a lot nicer too and represent the actual scenario much better.

Sometimes things don’t need to analysed or looked deeper at (this is coming from me who loves nothing more!) but sometimes things and stories should be taken at face value and people can get some happiness from it. And next time you type think to yourself, ‘would I say that in person?’

If I could tell this to those posters in person, then I would! Not that it would do a lot of good. Some people are pessimists through and through and will always jump to the dark side when there is normally a silver lining.

I say well done to the British Gas man and I hope he is there is many other’s hours of need! And I am glad the daughter is recovering well and her amazing parents are okay too.

https://www.facebook.com/britishgas/posts/10151356931195649 – take a look for yourself. You have been warned!

XSXS

Use Faces and Books not just Facebook.

Well today, I attended my first webinar. If you can say ‘attended’ as I didn’t even have to move from my chair; just click a few buttons. It is another step I guess for the internet. Another way for us to do things through a screen. Is it lazy? Or is it just common sense? I mean, I didn’t have to go on a course today to hear that seminar, travel somewhere and miss school for the day (as much as I would have liked to 😉 ) or spend money in order to do this. So it saved me from having a day off work, time and money. All good right? I guess in that case it is, except from the fact that it just isn’t the same as actually being there. You get muffled talk every so often and it was funny when the moderator hadn’t turned off her ‘mute’ button so you could hear the ‘click click’ of her typing (something you would hear if you were actually there though) and to ask a question you had to type in a box. I didn’t write one because there was nothing I wanted to ask. Would people ask things they didn’t normally dare? Or did they ask less things? Because sometimes being there in person you feel under pressure because the talker keeps looking at you, so you ask a completely random, irrelevant question.

To move onto other internet communication devices, Facebook has become world-wide phenomenon. I find it ironic that it is called Facebook, since you never have face to face conversations and people read statuses more than they read books! I love Facebook, don’t get me wrong, but I think it does stop people doing things physically like talking, sending invitations, printing photos, getting together etc. Why send invitations when you can create an event group? Why pop round to your mate’s house for a cuppa when you can type ‘hi’ on instant chat? Why text that mate personally when you just comment on their status? Why read a book before bed when you can just read a Facebook article? Facebook does have its uses but we need to make sure it doesn’t stop us from actually speaking to people. I have a rule that I don’t add or speak to someone on Facebook who I have never spoken to in real life.

There are the shops too. Amazon, Play.com, Ebay as well as Tesco and all the other online supermarkets. Is this why the nation is getting fat? We no longer have to leave our settee to get food or hurl it back to the house. Plus online we may buy more. At least before if you were buying a KG of chocolate at least you would lug it back with you along with 4 pints of milk and a bag of spuds. You would feel you had burnt some calories in order to deserve the chocolate treat! I do like online shopping for other things though. It seems cheaper to buy books and DVDs anyway and you can browse and compare prices much easily. So, I must admit that I do about 80% of my Xmas shopping online. It is sad though that the high street is dying because of this. The high street, where people had to walk, socialise and get fresh air.

So, the internet is a good thing but sometimes you need to get out there. Go and look at a real face, see a real shop, go to a proper seminar and don’t just be glued to that screen all day. Besides, it’s rude to stare 😉

p.s I do note that the irony of this blog is that I communicate my ideas to you everyday via the web… so anyone fancy coming round for a cuppa and c chat?! Haha.

XSXS