TUMBY BAY - Like many people of my generation I have dipped my toe into Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites but eventually withdrew because of what I judged to be a fairly uninteresting medium.
It is not so much that I am a snob but, like others of my age, I also had trouble understanding and using its multitudinous options. When I hear stories of dedicated 90 year old social media aficionados I stand in awe.
Nowadays I confine my online activity to the internet, mainly email and a few chosen websites. I also use internet banking and Google to research items of interest.
Despite this limited usage I still experience regular bombardments of scams and people trying to sell me useless stuff I don’t want and certainly don’t need.
On top of that I regularly receive emails from excited people telling me I am the beneficiary of fabulous inheritances from strangers or that I have won some obscure lottery I never entered.
Then there are regular emails from people purporting to be gorgeous women desperately wanting to correspond with me.
In the same vein I occasionally stumble across gross and disturbing pornographic sites when I am innocently searching the web for something else.
It may be my age or simply my old world sense of decency but I cannot imagine why anyone healthily sane would want to look at these appalling sites. Or maybe I’ve turned into a grumpy old wowser.
The net result of all this is the inevitable conclusion that the world is full of crooks, carpetbaggers and the morally challenged.
I’m not sure whether the internet amplifies this fact or is, in fact, simply reflecting the innately dishonest and grubby nature of humanity at large.
I also wonder how these sorry people live with themselves.
How can anyone who rips off innocent people, including the most vulnerable, justify their actions and keep doing it?
How can those women and men appearing on the thousands, and probably millions, of porn sites do what they do?
Many of these people are clearly criminals and very few of them ever seem to be brought to account. The internet is apparently largely a sanction free zone.
But, then again, these people are not very different from others who quite legally use the internet to hound people to sell them things.
The shopping and consumer pornography on the internet is very much like the fleshy pornography that crops up at the leading edge of much technological innovation.
In fact, as I understand it, pornography has been responsible for many technological advances that have been picked up by mainstream purveyors and users.
This leads to the obvious conclusion that on the internet the dividing line between what is criminal and what is legitimate commercial activity is decidedly blurred.
To extrapolate further it is hard to avoid the conclusion that a large part of our society is populated by people of dubious intent.
In that sense it makes it very difficult to trust anyone, even the most innocently helpful.
No matter what the cause or intent, even from the most morally solid, one cannot, these days, avoid the nagging question, “What are these people up to and what are they trying to get from me?”
Nowadays you can’t trust anyone. Thanks a lot, internet.