Friday, July 1, 2011

the internet

I got my first email address when I lived in Belgium when I was seventeen ( - yikes). I had never sent an email before, I didn't understand how it worked, but I had a hunch it would change things forever.

I send a whole lot of emails, on average when I'm working and from home, a bare minimum of sixty a day, often many more. Correspondence has changed so dramatically, and its sad that the letter has fallen to the wayside. I've always loved letters, I don't keep much old stuff around, but I keep letters. I have boxes of them at my parent's house. Letters from my grama, from friends when I lived in Belgium, from friends when I moved to Vancouver - so many letters. I haven't received a letter in years and to be fair, I haven't sent one either.

In addition to my regular job, I'm also a partial owner of a mens and boys surf and skate shop. I look after all the social marketing and advertising for the store. Managing our flickr and youtube pages has given me a taste of how things have changed from when I was young. I'll post photos of new stock and get responses like "how $", "other colour?" - all very short and direct messages. Our customers online shop and compare prices, they can message us for pricing, they post comments on videos within minutes of the media being posted. Everything is so immediate and faceless.

It's the facelessness of internet that scares me when I think of raising Hannah. The anonymity of internet bullying is alarming to me. I've had to delete many messages from the store's facebook and youtube sites - comments where older kids are making fun of younger kids, where one kid gets picked on by a bunch of kids at once. It's so easy to be mean when you're sitting at home on the couch with your computer in your lap. 

I was fourteen when this first aired and I can assure you I would have sounded as clueless as Katie Couric!

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