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Serendipity ? i Am Not Convinced.

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Earlier today, I logged into my computer to use a search engine to look do some research.A close friend recently managed to dissuade me from using the ‘usual suspect’ search engines in favour of one that claims to be, ‘the most private search engine in the world.’I wasn’t convinced at the time but recently I have begun to notice a real difference.A difference in my own on-line behaviour.
I am no longer bombarded by advertisements and links to stuff that the internet wants me to see. You know what I mean, at least you will if you are a bit IT naive, as I was when I started typing all sorts of requests into a well- known commercial search engine. It was so exciting and I often got side-tracked and sometimes linked to other sites and bought things: Things that I thought I needed. Thanks to my friend’s interventionI am now an internet grown-up.I no longer believe that it is serendipity that magically understands my social status, purchasing habits, likes and dislikes.I now understand that the search engine and those who seek to optimise the sales of their products had lured me into an insecure world of invasion of my privacy. They pre-empted my every move, drip fed me things that they wanted me to like and buy.They tapped into my email lists so that they could do the same to my contacts and like a relentless worm, they dug into my inner-self to exploit my weaknesses. Serendipity- ah yes the subject of this blog - finding a true friend who, through their knowledge and caring, points you in the direction of  and help you to avoid being sucked into the wormhole that the internet has become.Thank you, serendipitous friend. You know who you are.
Serendipity ?  i am not convinced.
  In my childhood summer days,
there were picnics by the sea. I thought they called them sandwiches because they had sand inside. It got in your mouth, in your ears, in your shoes. We got goose-bumps splashing around, then a rub with a rough old towel. No softener – just love by the bucketful. Waking on Winter mornings, banging feet on the lino floor, watching the kindling sparks in the grate, socks on the guard but you couldn’t be late, so you ladled in thick sticky porridge, blistered your mouth in your haste. Nights were warm and cuddly, hot- water bottles and bedtime stories, snuggling down under eiderdown.
  It’s all faster now. Rewind, replay, regurgitate. Plug in, switch on, don’t hesitate, instant access, instant message. No time to ruminate. Ting dinner ten minutes from frozen. Tumbling wet to dry in less. HG Wells would think it impressive. Fibre optic communication, by the time you can think it it’s shared with the Nation.
  Some change must be for the better. Serendipity? Yet I hold to the pen for sincerity: to the thrill of receiving a letter. Email seems impersonal. A text can be clipped and severe. Automatons at the checkout designed to speed up the queue, don’t even try to brighten the day and they don’t ask the elderly, “ How are you?” Please don’t mention the satnav, I don’t need a nag on my dash, a map gets me anywhere I need to go. Techno-free reading taught me what I know.
  Oh I know that when snow fall is heavy, some workers are virtually free, I should say at this point that I know a guy who has virtually worked since ’93! We’ve been to the moon and back, photographed Mars, spoken to stars, still no-one has been in touch. So why not stop pushing these buttons and try saying ‘let’s do lunch.’ Let’s stay in, save up and go boating. Let’s crumble the credit crunch. Let’s cancel the Facebook and twitter, switch off the mobile phone and hold hands with the people who love us, embracing the fact that we are not alone.
  Technology has succeed where extreme ideology failed. We’ve a worldwide community network, so everything rotten, that should be forgotten invades every screen. It infects. It exhales. An innocent non-believer is demonised using new-media. A mid-eastern woman is stoned to death for an act of adultery, while we in the West, free to do what we like, watch it unfold on real time TV. Is it all too much or is it just me?
      Thanks for reading ... Adele

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