#28- stupid Internet. Stupid, stupid Internet.

It never fails to amaze me--bewilder, stun, shock, render speechless--is the gullible way in which some folks approach the Internet. I see it as this seedy, dark, rain-swept part of town that tucks the whores and vagrants into damp pockets of shadow that are just in your peripheral vision. And so many walk right into it, their virginal eyes wide with naivete, whistling a Sousa march as grubby-fingered pickpockets leer and transexual hustlers motion for them to click on this ad to win a prize!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chain letters, instant win schemes, fake site harboring credit card scams: they all make me mad. A friend once commented on his surprise that those sorts of things are still on the Web. It's simple; they're there because more people fall for them than don't.

I was prompted to write this after seeing a bulletin board message that a friend posted on MySpace--according to this letter, if you didn't copy and paste it to 10 other friends, Tom (the manchild creator of MySpace) would delete their account to free up more space. That makes as much sense as the one that's been going around for years, the one about Bill Gates giving you a dollar for every person you IM a certain link to. I'm not expecting people to be Internet samurai about this sort of thing, but you'd at least think that some sort of internal alarm system would activate and make whooshing and bleeping noises.

Credit card fraud is probably the hardest to detect, so folks that get stuck in that trap are (usually) innocent. But another thing that surprises me are all of the adds, the ones that present amazing challenges like, which one is Paris Hilton????? (which three pro wrestlers are shown along with one Paris Hilton) answer correctly 2 win prize!!!!!!! (which is usually $3 off a $400 electronic item). I think the first time I saw one of those things, I had a sinking suspicion that helping the ninja deliver the pizza wouldn't net me several thousand dollars, despite all of their promises. I did figure that it would net me tracking bugs and more spyware.

I've had Internet exposure since 1995, right after the term became widespread. I'm not exactly the most savvy online goon; in fact, I've intentionally kept a certain distance from it to avoid let it become a crutch. But something about the nature of it made me cautious from the start. The Internet as much as a tool for great corruption and debauchery as it is for wonderful research, communication and leisure purposes.

But maybe, just maybe, all of this has nothing to do with the Internet, and everything to do with our sinful nature; there have always been tricksters and confidence men, and using the Internet is just bringing their crafts to a more advanced stage. That doesn't amaze me as much.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 10/03/2006 01:40:00 AM,

3 Comments:

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Janet said...

posting before Russ.

i guess maybe it's because i've been around the internet forever that the stuff just doesn't phase me anymore. it comes with the territory. i remember how annoying it was when it all started though. really pissed me off actually. you know... like before popup blocks and stuff.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Qere Ketiv said...

Biting the hand that feeds up, eh?

 
At 10:24 PM, Blogger Jason said...

I've been around the Internet forever too, and it doesn't phase me per se, but it just upsets me that people keep falling for it.

 

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