I am a bit of a geek by nature. The “mechanics” of things has interested me since I was a little kid. When my Dad would change the batteries in his or Mom’s watches, I’d like to “watch” — no pun intended. I enjoyed seeing how the little gears would move and engage. Making the tocks tick.
The inner works of things intrigued me.
One of my brothers was a motor-head. It always looked to me, like the cars in our driveway were eating him, and his friends. The hoods always up. And all you could see were bodies from the waist down, spewing out from under the grasps of the hooded jaw of the Camaro. It seemed, at any moment, the car would swallow, and the bunch of them would be lost forever.
I was always interested in their grease-work, but I never dared put my head into the throat of the untamed Oldsmobiles or Chevrolet.
Anyway, Geek-Me. As an adult, I spent some time working in IT and also doing some development on the great and powerful Interweb of Old. It stuck to me like glue. So these days, I stay pretty “up” on the workings of technology. Not like “Super Geek” with a cape. But, more like, Old-Lady-Geek with a limp.
However. One thing that bothers me about the internet in our current web of things, is the influx of Opt-Ins. You know, those windows that zoom up in your face out of nowhere. They give rise to WTFs all over the world.
Just this morning, I was looking up some information on the upcoming Winter Solstice, for today’s writings. And boldly, from the top corner, swings a window which took over the bulk of the real estate on my screen. And that window read: “FREE BEGINNERS GARDEN GUIDE! + a 4-season guide to raising chickens! Just click the huge OK, and be forever inundated with our emails, and ads, and ways to get you to spend money. We’ll even sell your email address to countless others who will fill your Inbox with the same. Would you like to join and be subjected to all this punishment? Click OK.”
Down in the very right-hand-bottom corner, there was a little tiny grayed-out text link, which read “No Thanks”. Of course, that was my click. And ANOTHER window popped in which read, “No thanks, I already know everything there is to know about gardening. I’m an expert. Click OK.”
Now. Here is my trouble. My predicament. My trial and tribulation. By clicking “No thanks, I know it all.” I have saved myself from getting waylaid by 4,000 pounds of SPAM. However. By making that same click, I’m am all-out lying. Because. I don’t know everything about gardening. In fact, the Garden Gnomes in our shed, have a poster of my face on the wall, with a big red X over it, which reads “WANTED. PLANT KILLER.”
Yes. This is not the only instance. I have had other “Opt-Ins” which have forced me to blatantly lie. These days, I do not like to lie. Maybe when I was five, and I broke the front window with the baseball bat when I was practicing my swing on the front porch because it was raining out. Maybe then, I would like to tell a little lie. But not now. Not about those web-ads, with healthy candy corn, or expert gardening, or free toe nail clippers. NO. I won’t have it.
And the other thing about Opt-Ins. They startle me. I have very clear intentions when I use the internet. My purpose is distinctly defined. I certainly don’t need an Opt-In window asking me to Get the Secrets of Rapid Weight Loss, when all I was really searching for were a “sweet tasting apples” list. I am suddenly a Girl, Interrupted.
Can you imagine, if back in the day, when you had to go to the library for information, and it were like this? Trying to find a couple of books about the Titanic, and Librarians would start leaping out from behind the stacks, with books about Amphibians, Communism, and Chilean Earthquakes. We’d all be walking around with flinching ticks, or acquired Tourette’s.
Oh this world.
The only thing that comes to mind right now is the old Superman quote. “With power comes responsibility.”
Sometimes, our technology forgets this.
As, do our political leaders.
And lots of others in the world.
I guess, all we can do, is not Opt-In. And be true to our good selves, and our strongest integrity. To that, I will click OK.
Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people. — Dennis Prager
Integrity means that you are the same in public as you are in private. — Joyce Meyer
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. — Thomas Jefferson