As I’ve said repeatedly, I’ve quit answering the same old bloggy questions. But! When I find interesting ones, I am happy to jabber on. And on. Warning: long, boring post ahead.
Cyranny asks a few intriguing questions.
I bet people would guess I haven’t, since I’m always talking about being safe, cautious, and introverted. But guess what? I wasn’t always this way! Well, I probably was always somewhat introverted ~ even as a child I enjoyed spending time alone reading or coloring or arranging my stuff ~ but I used to be much bolder. For some odd reason, people say that boldness is good and caution is bad, though I do not understand this. It’s a mindless cliché. When I was bold and brave, I ended up with many more problems and stresses. No, I do not want to catapult into my grave, naked and covered with chocolate, screaming yay what a ride! Ick. I would prefer to expire quietly while wrapped in a snuggly blanket and reading a romance novel (not a mystery cuz I wouldn’t know how it ends). Please put that in my file, thanks.
In any case, yes, I did hitchhike, not so much officially with my thumb out, but I took rides from random strangers (all men) back in Illinois when I was in the mood. I also picked up hitchhikers, sometimes with a girlfriend, other times alone. When I was 22, I slept with a random man I picked up off the street in the San Fernando Valley because he was cute and funny. I even paid for the hotel room.
That guy turned into a stalker, calling me multiple times a day, and threatening to tell my mom what I had done. I told her myself and we had a good laugh. Mom was cool. Finally, he stopped calling.
Lesson learned: don’t give your phone number to randos. Unfortunately, I hadn’t made my number private on my old FB account and a wacko from Missouri (not you, Roy), called me late one night to yell at me for being a “breeder.” Ugh. Many sensible ideas about being careful in-person apply online as well, though some folks disagree and blurt out unsafe and rude things on the daily. Speaking of rudeness…
Depends what kind of payoff you’re seeking. If you want to have good relationships with family and friends and coworkers/customers, then yes it does make sense to be kind, honest, trustworthy, and emotionally generous. However, if your goal is to primarily make a boatload of money by destroying your competitors, then probably not.
Rory also asks interesting questions today…
Do you remember your early days? Like for instance, when you first got an internet connection? Dial up as opposed to broadband?
I do. My ex had an AOL account and showed me how to go online to buy and sell beanie babies in 1998. Naturally, I soon found forums to troll as well. It was a lot of fun! I also looked up everyone I had ever known and discovered that the boss I hated had died young. It’s not good for your health to be mean to me, just saying.
When was your first time with a blog, or a forum or even a game online?
My first forum was alt.collecting.beanie-babies, a Usenet group. What a bunch of lunatics! That place erupted in huge nasty flamewars all the time, which isn’t something you’d expect from connoisseurs of cute little stuffed toys. Just goes to show ya!
The first online game I got addicted to was Minesweeper, also in 1998. But long before that, around 1980, my mom had purchased an early computer from Radio Shack (remember them?). We played lots of games that came pre-installed, especially this one called Ladybug. I guess it was a bit like Pac-Man? Your bug gobbled up things in a maze faster and faster to get to new levels. And you saved your writing on floppy disks. But we weren’t “online.”
What mistakes did you make the first time ever that you … you can fill in the rest yourself. But this is about your early days as a writer online, or a gamer online – when was your first ever blog or forum?
I was a combat prose writer in Usenet forums, where we tried to out-clever each other with vicious attacks. Since everyone participating had agreed to take part, it was not unkind to write this way. There was also agreement not to dox, but some broke that agreement and/or disagreed on doxxing parameters. I had a lot of anger inside me then, and writing this way provided a release. Eventually, I grew tired of it all and stopped. The worst mistake I made was in not being completely anonymous. You can still find some of the trash I wrote, if you know where to look.
My first blog was Ultrablog (because my online handle then was Ultraviolet). I was deliberately controversial to get hits, though I mostly avoided mentioning family or work. My mistake there was in failing to police my comment section, which ultimately ruined the blog, and I took it offline. Now, I’m vigilant about making sure no flame wars or icky spammers infect my comments. I have no issue deleting comments ~ I don’t owe anyone freedom of speech here.
Now, let’s move on to Fandango’s provocative (and somewhat related) question…
How vulnerable do you feel about potential hacks or intrusions while using your smartphone? And if you do feel vulnerable, what steps, if any, are you taking to protect yourself and your data?
I do feel vulnerable to hacks and such online, and I take the reasonable steps, such as protecting my passwords and not clicking suspicious links. But there’s no way to be completely safe except to quit being online altogether, or to be Asbestos Dust. To be clear, I’m talking about being afraid of actual criminals who steal info to steal money. I dgaf about companies “spying” on me to shovel ads in my face. That’s the price of all this crap being mostly “free.” It’s not free ~ we de facto agree to become a product sold to advertisers.
Finally, I address one of Melanie’s SYW asks from this past Monday…
What is one thing you’ll never do again?
This is tangentially related to the above because it has to do with an online activity, namely dating sites. Now, I realize some have met their soul mates via these sites, and I’ve seen it firsthand among family and friends. That’s wonderful! But it was a nightmare for me. I was a magnet for liars and scammers and psychos, and the stress of trying to filter them out became unbearable. The far and few between “nice” guys were sadly not worth the time and emotional energy I had to expend dealing with the jerks.
So I will never again join any type of dating site or singles meetup group or forum, online or off. I’m not going to say I would never go on a date again, but the fact is that for me, unless I join one of these groups or sites, the chances of my meeting a man “in the wild,” so to speak, are zero to none. I’ve been to grocery stores all my life and never once have connected with a kindred spirit in the cookie aisle.
Mmmcookies. So much more satisfying than dating…
Image from Pixabay.
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