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  • Tool or Victim?

    Think looooong and hard on this thought of the moment.

    Oh and no there isn't a poll, as I don't really care to know what the artificial numbers might suggest about a handful of opinions

    Basically, do you think the internet is a "tool" for your usage, or, do you think it has essentially turned you into a victim of it.

    To further define the two choices.

    Tool. In order for it to be "just a tool" you must be able to discard it without repercussions that will adversely impact your life.
    So regardless of the HOW you are using it, it must be something you could just walk away from.

    Victim. It has invited itself into your life, created conditions or needs you seem unable to just dump casually without it being too great a hassle or expense.

    Those that have no alternative but to sit in front of a computer at work likely are a victim, unless they can either A. do the same work off line, or B. can casually ditch the work and do something else.

    Gaming, if you are a regular player of any of the cliche multi user games online, and you can't just up and walk out of a game without having just wasted and or thrown away a lot of funds ie a character that is worth a lot of tangible REAL cash, you likely are a victim.

    Social experience. If you have encountered persons who have become close friends with you via online interaction that you can only meet via online, due to their living economically a distance you can't cross short of a major expense, you likely are a victim.

    Market place choices. If it seems like you are only capable of obtaining the goods of a preferred hobby of yours through the internet, as they have a regional or demographical limitation which prevents you from acquiring them through a local retailer, you might be a victim.

    Services. If some aspect of your life is effectively only capable of being managed online, for instance paying of bills, or obtaining assistance to a routine household service that always seems to assume your best route is to gain assistance online for instance phone type communications, you might be a bit of a victim.


    Myself, I am mostly thinking I am a victim of the internet.
    I have no work based connection hassling me thankfully.
    But
    Socially I have let myself get trapped into what simply couldn't have happened prior to 1990. And dumping friends once you make them is never anyone's idea of a great choice.
    I have also watched most of my hobbies essentially go primarily to being hobbies you can only pursue practically with an access to the online world.
    I'm fortunate I have resisted the urge to do too much of my private business such as banking online. I have seen that once you start, it's often hard to back out.

    Personally I think the internet is doing more to control our lives, than to improve them. The internet has to be the ultimate expression of the XXX hundred pound gorilla.
    Life is change. Built models for decades.
    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
    I didn't for a long time either.

  • #2
    Especially since retirement I have let myself slip a lot deeper into the net than I like.
    I have a small farm and lots of real life hands on hobbies that I am attempting to reinsert myself into. Got two Panheads need restoring, a Ferguson that needs an overhaul and a landscaping project for starters.
    Not having to go to work anymore is cool beyond description, but surfing the net or getting involved in faceless encounters can be it's own punishment.
    Can be quite rewarding at times.

    "Surf responsibly."

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    • #3
      Neither. The internet cannot be arbitrarily placed into only two opposing categories, one of which plays the "victim" card.

      For many people, whether they use it for business or because they are shut-ins who rely on it for contact with the outside world, or because their own government suppresses them and lies to them, it is an essential. This does not, however, make them a "victim" of the internet, anymore than needing oxygen or insulin makes someone a "victim" of the treatment itself.

      The American government developed the internet to provide alternative communication in the event of nuclear war. It was developed as a tool, and a tool it remains, an essential daily tool to millions throughout the world. The real question is, how do you define the other users?
      Last edited by Mountain Man; 12 Nov 07, 09:33.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • #4
        What are you doing Paul?


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        • #5
          I agree-it is something that is there for use or abuse-it stands on it's own.

          I take full responsibilities for my personal uses and abuses.

          Been wondering what that big red thing I keep seeing is, though.

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          • #6
            The internet has turned no one into a victim. It's a thing. We all make our own choices on how to spend our time. The internet hasn't decided this for us.

            So, both.
            I use the internet for school, for model research, for finding music that isn't available in stores, reading lists, researching music, for training in judo,... a plethora of things have become deeper and faster because of the internet.

            On the other hand, like now, I find I have spent an hour or three on the internet and thought, "Maybe I would have gotten that A if I spent those three hours on school work, or maybe I wouldn't be so moody if I spent that three hours doing housework." But that's my baggage, not the intarweb's.

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            • #7
              Thats one of the stupider questions I've seen, Its like blaming Jack Daniels for your alcoholism or Little Debbie cakes for your fat-assery, Yet another cheap cop-out so people don't have to take personal responsibility and they can "feel good" about being a victim instead of somebody who needs help.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by the_redstar_swl View Post
                Thats one of the stupider questions I've seen, Its like blaming Jack Daniels for your alcoholism or Little Debbie cakes for your fat-assery, Yet another cheap cop-out so people don't have to take personal responsibility and they can "feel good" about being a victim instead of somebody who needs help.
                Well, I don't think it was a stupid question. I guess I might have worded it differently, though, if I'd been asking it.

                It's something well worth thinking about, IMO: what effect has the Internet had on you? Has it been positive or negative overall? If negative, is it something you can easily let go of, or has it become too much a habit?

                In certain instances, I've found it to be a very useful tool. I can research things a lot more easily now -- and that's a big plus, despite the downside of having to sift through a lot more garbage. And I can shop online, which has made my holidays a lot more pleasant (I used to hate spending a day in a crowded mall). I can also easily make contact with lots of people all over the world, and I've benefited some from that.

                Then again, I have to admit it has also become an addiction, and I'd do well to wean myself away from it. I have no business being here right now, typing this message, for instance, when I'm supposed to be working.

                I'd like to build a sort of social life online, but I've all but given up on that. I enjoy communicating with people at a distance like this; I wouldn't mingle nearly as much if I had to do it all face-to-face. But all these years of participating in discussion forums and exchanging e-mail have been disappointing on the whole. Very few people know how to communicate well via this medium, and many of those who do know how don't want to; they much prefer face-to-face meet-ups.

                I was recently invited to join Facebook, so I've been giving it a try. Very weird! I joined half a dozen discussion groups -- some of them with as many as 2000 people and growing -- but almost nothing is being discussed! There's less activity there than I've seen anywhere else. Facebook is huge in numbers, but it seems to be dead, activity-wise.

                So, the lesson I guess I'm learning is that the Internet ought to be a tool. It is what it is, and it's not going to be what I might hope or wish it would be. So, I need to take a reality check, adjust my attitude, and cut back on my online time-wasting.
                --Patrick Carroll


                "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

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                • #9
                  The internet can be a tool or a play thing. It can also be very addictive if you let. A perfect example is this past Sunday. I discovered this forum Sunday morning and spent a total of about 10 hours going through the threads and I still haven't gotten through as many as I would like.
                  Those that forget history are condemed to repeat it.
                  If you're going to be one you might as well be a BIG RED ONE

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                  • #10
                    Judging by some of the replies here, some have more and some have less trouble dealing with some aspects of being online

                    Myself, I have wondered, is it the computer I hate, or the uses it can be put to that is the problem.

                    For instance, would I still be unable to just not use the infernal thing if there was no internet?

                    I like to be online a bit too much. But, I like to have the computer on a bit too much. But half of my uses for a computer would not be there in the absence of an internet which fuels several of the uses. For example, if I did not have the ability to watch so many shows I can download, would I simply be watching a lot more conventional television broad casts instead?

                    Redstar's response was sort of funny actually (and he will just have to deal with my laughing at his assertion the question was dumb). Personally I DO think that cigarettes and their makers for instance, are responsible for the addicts.
                    So by extension, yes I suppose I CAN blame Jack Daniels for alcoholics.
                    And yes, I think the fast food industry is responsible for Americans being fat.

                    For Mountain Man. It is indeed true that the internet allows us to keep a vigil on the powers of those in power. But I think joe nobody is probably not nearly as skilled as those in power in manipulating the truth. So being able to go online and obtain RELIABLE truth on the internet is likely as hard as doing a Google search and actually finding what you were looking for.

                    For Miss Saigon, you have inspired a thread, which will appear shortly after this post I think it will be obvious, but it will be about machines that think.
                    Life is change. Built models for decades.
                    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                    I didn't for a long time either.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paul Maud'dib View Post
                      For instance, would I still be unable to just not use the infernal thing if there was no internet?
                      It'd still be a problem for me. I got addicted to computers (mainly computer games) years before the Internet came along. And even today, I have a computer upstairs that I used every day, and it's not connected to the Internet. I also have a pet Nintendo DS and have never connected it to the Internet.
                      --Patrick Carroll


                      "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Miss.Saigon View Post
                        What are you doing Paul?


                        Good One Miss Saigon, damn near sprayed my monitor!!!
                        Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

                        History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
                        Lazarus Long

                        Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
                        David Bowie

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                        • #13
                          I concur with Mountain Man, I'm in between or neither, With the exception of easy access to information, forums and gaming (not net based) I use a computer as needed, I don't buy tech for tech sake that's for sure. If my computer disappeared tomorrow I'd just go back to the old way of doing things. The Computer to me saves me time or occupies it if I have nothing else to do, but it doesn't control my life nor certainly does the Internet.
                          Eternal War(gaming) Armoured Struggle Car Bob

                          History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis.
                          Lazarus Long

                          Draw the blinds on yesterday and it's all so much scarier....
                          David Bowie

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul Maud'dib View Post
                            Redstar's response was sort of funny actually (and he will just have to deal with my laughing at his assertion the question was dumb). Personally I DO think that cigarettes and their makers for instance, are responsible for the addicts.
                            So by extension, yes I suppose I CAN blame Jack Daniels for alcoholics.
                            And yes, I think the fast food industry is responsible for Americans being fat.
                            Might as well blame gun companies for murder.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ask the same question of barbed wire - your answer depends on which side of the wire you are on but the wire remains the same.
                              Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                              Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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