Archive for January 2nd, 2010


Thoughts on the New Year, decade

January 2, 2010

It seems just a short while ago we were all worried about the dreaded Y2K bug and all the problems it would wreak on our computerized lives.  Yet, with all they hype, the technological nightmare did not happen.  Here it is, ten years later and we are much more dependent on computers and electronic gizmos than imaginable back then.  Now, issues like power grid hacking and identity theft are the worries with our technology.

We started off the decade with a worry over a technology few truly understood, computers.  We ended it with the worry we all know too well – troubles rooted in the failings of human nature.  New technology will always scare us as we adapt to its use and while its use can make life “easier,” it does nothing to change who we really are at the core.  The same unethical behavior that guided the scam artist at the door, in days of old has only move to the modern scam artist that knocks at the internet’s door.

It is paradoxical that the more we are connected electronically, they more removed we become physically.  The internet offers us a feeling of anonymity unknown before.  It creates in us an electronic openness with our lives and makes us ripe targets for the wolves among us that seek to steal, scam, or otherwise do harm.  In reality the internet is anything but anonymous.  The question is this, why would we trust to strangers information we would not trust to family and friends?  Nothing put on the internet is really private. You may hide your identity behind a false personality online, but if a person is determined to find out who is behind a post, they most likely can.

Moreover, the internet creates a quasi-permeate record that can resurface years later to be used in all sorts of negative ways.  As information is moved around the World Wide Web, servers make copies of incoming items and retransmit them along the way.  Sometimes that information even makes it to back-up copies.  An innocent indiscretion at twenty may come back to you at forty with a devastating effect.  Who among us does not have a story that was funny then but now is best left behind?

As long as we keep progressing with technology at a faster pace than we fully understand it, this will continue to be an issue. Best advice:  be mindful of what you post, it can come back to haunt you.

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