Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wild and wacky internet people....

I got an email today that completely freaked me out!

This... mind you... from a 53-year-old female Internet acquaintance.

"Can't you send a photo? I'll bet you're really cute..."

I'm 56-freaking-years old! I'm not cute!

I am also not open to that kind of interaction. At all. Period.

Admittedly, I am not into the whole social networking, MySpace, Facebook stuff. The very idea of it makes me want to crawl under the bed.

That is not to say that I haven't become friends with people I initially met on the Internet. I have. I'm very open about phone calls. My long distance is free and minutes unlimited. I'm more than willing to take advantage of it. Mail is okay. I have a post office box. I would only meet someone once I'm reasonably sure they are who they indicate they are. "Extremely cautious" is one way to describe my Internet experience.

I have talked with a few people who regularly comment on this site. However, I know they are decent, respectable people ... as I'm sure all of my commenters are. I'd feel safe talking with any of you.

At the same time, I am not willing to put my entire identity out on the Internet for anyone to grab. I don't reveal information that would allow anyone to track me down.

I don't understand all of this "web chat" stuff. And sending notes to virtual strangers, saying "I'll bet you're really cute."

Does anyone really fall for that stuff?

Perhaps it's just my background in IT.. but don't most people realize that using those programs leaves an open port right into your computer system, one that can allow anyone with reasonable skills to copy everything on your hard drive? It's an open portal, for crying out loud!

Am I hopelessly behind the times? Is this sort of thing common now?

I don't get it! It makes me shudder! Seriously. It scares the hell out of me!



flutter said...

Um, whoa.


You are lovely, btw not "cute" and so totally not the point. I don't know Chani some people are whacked.

liv said...

I don't think I'd really take kindly to a woman asking me for a photo. I don't really take kindly to anyone asking me for photos. It sounds like this lady is a tad forward...

Melanie said...

I am not scared by this. There are ways to deal with these kinds of people just like there are in real life. And I am "a ripple in the pond" believe too. don't put anything negative out there. I am sure there are quite a few sayings out there that will represent that better than that sentence did.

A matter of respect is the main issue here, I believe.

Melanie said...

can you tell i haven't had any sleep? sheesh.

KC said...

I'm not into that kind of sharing. Weirds me out too. And sometimes you just don't know who exactly you are dealing with.

Snoskred said...

Who says a 56 year old person can't be cute? ;) Cute has nothing to do with age, does it?

However I agree with you re the weird creepiness of this and I wouldn't be sending a pic either.

However re the open portal and copying things on hard drives - it is a hell of a lot harder than that. Otherwise we would just get all the internet scammers on Yahoo Messenger or whatever messaging program and grab the info about who they are trying to scam. And believe me, some baiters (though not me) have tried to do that.

In order to get information from someone else's computer, you either need a "keylogger" which is very difficult to get someone to install and also highly illegal, or you need to have actual access to their computer. You can't do it with any kind of web chat program. Sorry to ruin the myth. ;)


Anonymous said...

Pansies are cute. My sister's husband is cute, but he's sort of a cross between a jockey and a hobbit.

Yeah, it's weird. I'm pretty open, but I don't like forward.

meno said...

It's irrelevant what you look like. That's one of the things i like best about this internet interaction, no one is judging anyone by their appearance.

What a weird request.

Tabba said...


I would be a tad freaked out too.


MsLittlePea said...

Yeah, a little creepy. You're right to be cautious.

I'm not into MySpace and Facebook either. Nothing wrong with it, just not my bag.

slouching mom said...

Yep. Creepy, IMHO.

Julie Pippert said...

It was out of the blue? Not someone you've been chatting with (by phone or email)? That is a little odd.

You know (deleted to prevent bringing down the wrath of Murphy here).

Sorry you got troubled that way.

Hey if you aren't in to Facebook you could create a nom de plume account and immediately cancel it in protest of their horrendous acts towards breastfeeding moms...you know, if you wanted to get all political about it. ;)

Using My Words

mitzh said...

That was indeed creepy!

crazymumma said...

It got your spidey sense tingling. Good. Instincts should be trusted.

ps...I just caught up on all of your other writing.

painted maypole said...

yup, a little wacky.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You're not cute? You mean I've been wasting all my time here? I really thought you'd be cute.

hee hee.

Yeah, it's weird.

Pam said...

Yeesh! Too forward and definitely weird. Besides, after a certain age we are no longer cute, we are bodacious and we have earned it!

Congratulations on blogging for a year, your posts are gritty and thought-provoking and I enjoy coming here.

Emily said...

That's why I don't post pictures of my kids. Skeeves me out.

QT said...

I am with meno - I love the fact that no one gets judged on how they look, but for what they think and write.

I would not be freaked out if YOU asked me for a photo, but if it was someone I didn't know well, I would think it was an odd request.

Angela said...

I tend to gravitate to the "Better safe than sorry" philosophy and have heard enough horror stories about stalkers (both Internet and real) to know that there is a danger by putting *anything* online. Hell, there's a danger walking down the street for that matter. Always, always, always, always go with your gut. That's what I try to do. Not always easy, but usually better in the long run.

Blog Antagonist said...

That would freak me the flock out. Husband is an IT guy too, and I know the dangers, but a lot of people don't. I don't really understand the appeal of Facebook, My Space etc. I'm just not that interested in "networking" with strangers and nutjobs.

Carla said...

Strange. Yes, I wouldn't be asking a stranger those types of things. But, of course, that's me. You do make me wonder though about the security of my computer. I'm a little in the dark about that kind of stuff.