Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Things I'll Never Understand

First up, pot fillers.  To begin with, they aren't cheap.  From my (really) quick research, the price of the faucet itself can range from a couple hundred dollars for a stationary fixture up to a thousand bucks for the fancy, flexible ones.  Add the plumber's costs and well, my family could have eaten out quite a few times for the same price.  But forget the financial aspect.  What exactly is the benefit?  Sure, I can drag my empty pasta pot over to the stove and fill 'er up right there at ground zero.  Seems like a good idea.  Until the pasta's done and I'm left with a big ol' heavy container full of boiling-hot water.  Where's the receptacle in which to dump this?  Oh yeah, it's across the room.  Underneath my other faucet.

But on a more serious note, I just don't understand why seemingly sane people tell their business to total strangers on the world-wide-web.  Sure, we all get involved in these online-communities and think we're talking only to friends. Really close friends.  But we tell these "friends" things we wouldn't tell many of the real people in our real lives.  Somehow we have this sense of security and privacy in our cyber-neighborhoods, as if these thousands of strangers will keep our secrets.  We want to believe these people really care about us, and at the same time we have a sense of distance and anonymity that makes it easy to spill our deepest thoughts, fears, and family dysfunctions.  From what I've read, true friendships do sometimes develop through these internet connections.  But posting an intimate story to friends on a messageboard is the equivalent of writing a personal email to someone, then hitting the "send to all" button.

I've learned from experience that the things we divulge in our own little internet communities (the ones we think our families and friends will never see) might be seen by our loved ones when we least expect it.  For example, I belong to a crafting messageboard that I visit for inspiration and camaraderie.  Yes, I have an avatar photo of myself, but due to its size and other factors, I doubt it could be used as an identifying tool in a police investigation.  And I have no real personal information listed in my profile.  But somehow my sister found me on that site and sent me a "gotcha" message.  I have no reason to fear her reading anything I might have posted, but I dare say there are others who would have a lot of 'splainin' to do if they were "found" by family and friends.

What I do understand is our need to be noticed and appreciated, and sometimes even to feel a "virtual" hug.  This world in which we live can be big and cold. And lonely. So yes, I have posted about happy things I wanted to share with someone. I've posted about misfortunes and disappointments when I needed some kind, supportive words.  And I occasionally post a project I've completed (this one is rare because I rarely complete a project) in hopes of receiving a little validation for a job well-done.  But before I type the first word, I try to ask myself how I would feel if my husband/child/sister/friend/pastor were to read my post.  Sure, sometimes I post something that wouldn't pass muster with someone, but my primary concern is that no one in my life would ever be hurt by reading something I've written.  Or embarrassed.  No matter how angry I might be at that person.  Because the reality is that as easy as it is to type our thoughts and hit "submit", those comments are probably just a few clicks away from discovery by someone we know.

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