There are some things in this world that can either a very good thing or a very bad thing. Recently, I’ve wondered if the Internet is a perfect example of one of these things.
Certainly it is quite obvious the wonderful qualities the Internet provides to us all–especially you bloggers out there! For me personally, I never would have had the opportunity to test my writing or photography skills on such a public scale. Much to my surprise, both have been greeted with great positive delight and careful considerations. It is truly a highlight in my life (if that says anything about my life!!).
Another amazing–and so current–part of the web is how it connects people! Again, it has been my great fortune to meet some wonderful bloggers who have become my friends. But beyond that: people meet future partners, have job interviews, start businesses, visit Grandchildren, read the news from around the world and get any random bit of information from this amazing thing called: The Internet. You never, ever would have thought of this 30 years ago!
But this very same thing that helps, can harm. Most of us are innocent in our browsing and searches: looking for how to spell some word or how to cook some new dish. All these things are at our finger tips. We can do or find anything…and so can someone with evil intent.
The Internet gathers information like Antarctica gathers snow. Each snowflake holds a bit of data waiting to be read. Purists have been trying to keep the web free from monitoring–let the data be free and unencumbered. People have a right to search, gather and download whatever they want from this treasure trove of information no matter what they may do with it after some say…. Or do they?
Police, FBI say it’s OK to get on a perp’s phone or computer if they were terrorists. Maybe they could get information that could lead to stopping further attacks. Others say if we set a precedent of hacking into people’s privacy, then we’re as good as lost. Back to the McCarthy era of profiling potential bad guys. Some feel if you have nothing to worry about, then you shouldn’t worry about the Internet being monitored–your data being monitored for subversive searches: if you’re innocent, no problem.
There is always a way to get information from one group to another, Internet or no. If the bad guys want to recruit, they will. Even within Nazi concentration camps, the prisoners had underground rebel groups that stock piled weapons. They had no web to pass this information back and forth, rest assured of that one! But the Internet makes it so easy and so International! Click a button and wham…join a terrorist group. Scary.
Certainly, we all want to be safe from these horrible extremist groups, but our right to privacy in this country is also paramount. Unfortunately, every time we push the power button on the computer and hit either Google or that big E….we’re putting ourselves out there for anyone to find us….eventually. Hopefully it’s only for things like clothing ads and other nuisance items that attach to your searches.
I guess the moral of the story is: be careful what you search for, because Big Brother may eventually may be watching.
As I look out the window now, I see the sun shining! We made it through the blizzard relatively unscathed. I could barely open my door this morning, but it was just enough to slip through and make a path so I could get my pups out. There was one accident on the porch while I was in the pen with my snowshoes making enough of an area so they could ‘go’ in earnest. Oh well…if that was the worst of what happened, I’ll take it. We could have lost power. I always worry and wonder if I should drag my huge generator from my shed down near the house just in case. But it’s heavy and cumbersome and then I’d have to drag it back. And where to put it if we were to get the two feet of snow expected (which we did!). It was bought during the terrible ice storm a few years back when power was out for 11 days, but I tell myself that was an awful fluke and it will most likely never happen like that again….
Now, in this second half of life, and single–I must be all things and play all roles. And I can’t say I always like it. Getting up at the crack of dawn on a weekend after a raging blizzard to get the dogs out and then immediately start shoveling, both paths and the roofs all by myself was not necessarily what I had envisioned for my life. It would have been so lovely to keep snuggled in my bed with the snow still falling while someone else took care of all that for me. Instead I had to don all my winter gear, boots, snow shoes and grab the roof shovel and regular shovel (which used to be my manure shovel) and get down to business. With my nose running, back aching, hands freezing and toes numb I worked for what seemed like an eternity. It was no fun. But it had to be done and someone had to do it. My daughter is home, but she WAS snuggled in her bed…then woke up to work out. She did dig the car out she drives, but only after it was mostly free from a little help from our neighbor. Luckily he saved me from extra work when he offered to help with his snow blower! Whoop whoop! It only took six years for my neighbor to be neighborly.
Do I miss having help around for stuff like this after we get slammed with two feet of snow? I won’t lie. I would love it. I would maybe even get out of my warm bed to help. But it truly stinks that I’m stuck with all the work. But I guess it was my choice to be single. So here I am in this predicament. I understand I’m a modern woman, but even we like a partner in which to share the tough times. Especially, I find, as I get older and my bones gets more sore. It becomes harder to keep asking people I know to do things for me, or to keep paying people. I envy my women friends who just have to turn to a husband/partner for the help they need.
But it doesn’t look like I will be getting that help any time soon. So instead, I try not to cringe too much when I hear weather reports that include heavy snowfall or ice. And I count down to the days till spring arrives and treasure climate change honestly. New England can be a challenging place for a single woman to own her own home. Some days I’m not sure why I do or how much longer I will be able to afford to do it, but for now I keep shoveling, mowing, gardening, hammering, painting, tiling, cleaning and fixing. I’m glad I can and love my home all the more because I do. But should someone come along some day who wants to help me, I may just not say no.