Tuesday 10 August 2004

The scariest thing about the Internet.

Every day, around the world, people get hit by cars and die, they fall into rivers and die, they get attacked by wild beasts and die, they drink dodgy water and die. Some rather interesting scientific research recently showed that people are more likely to open up the less direct their contact with each other is, so, for instance, people will share more about their feelings over the phone than face to face, and more in writing than over the phone. Add together these two facts and you get the true terror of the Internet. You don't just read a blog; you get to know the blogger (or think you do); you come to feel an attachment to them. And then, one day, they just stop blogging. Maybe it's a brief holiday. Maybe their computer's broken. Maybe their child is ill. And maybe they've been wiped off the face of the planet, in which case finding their blog and taking it off the Net is hardly going to be their loved ones' top priority. You'd be unlikely to see their obituary, if they had one, because they're not that famous — and, anyway, this is the Net: they could be using a pseudonym. Their blog isn't like a newspaper, whose editor would let you know what had happened. It could just sit there, unchanging, for years. So you check their site every day or so. You know they're probably not dead, but, the longer they don't blog, the more the possibility nags at the back of your mind. It's just simply awful.

Or is that just me?

Anyway, my favourite blogger has taken a weight off my mind. Which, I suppose, makes the subject of her first post in what seems like aeons a tad ironic.


Natalie points out that she did actually say she was going to go camping.

Yes, but camping's dangerous, you see. Your tent could get run over by a bulldozer, you could be attacked by bears, or moths, the police could arrest you for loitering....

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