Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Sign of Dysfunction or of Evolution?

Skittles has been invited to join a Catster Group, called Orange & Orange and White Kitties Only.

He’s already been invited to join some other groups. The named after food group is one of them. Buttons has been invited to join some groups as well.

Poor Rascal feels awfully alone.

I haven’t put pages up yet for the rest of the clan, but I’ll get there. Eventually. It’s just something that got me thinking this week, as I received a half dozen email requests for my various pets to become buddies with other animals on Catster.

It strikes me that more and more, people are looking for ways to connect to others in the world around them through their keyboards.

I know that shouldn’t be surprising to someone who has a blog, who has a website, an ezine, hangs out on a few forums - even belongs to a Husky forum! Wow, did that come in handy when we were first dealing with Chinook, and then Nootka.

Is it convenience? The mere ability to eliminate the physical boundaries that used to dictate who our friends were, who we knew? Will this give rise to people unable to interact with others in the flesh because they spend more time with words on screens and emoticons?

Occasionally, I find it amusing to check out my referrals for the blog and see where people are coming from. In the past week, people have ended up here by searching for rubber nun outfit and horsefucking. Someone did a search for Helena inkspot bed and breakfast. I feel fairly confident they didn’t find anything remotely close. There was a hit from someone searching for Derek Ruttan songwriter. Psst. Spelled his name wrong.

I had two hits from people searching for David Simon. And – tada! – a few hits from people searching for Sandra Ruttan. Undoubtedly, the only people who stood a chance of being satisfied with the results of their search.

And even that isn’t a guarantee.

I like my virtual groupies. I like the fact that I can pester Stuart from thousands of miles away. As much as I love chatting with Cornelia we lose way too much time when we get on the phone. Same with JT. We have to discipline ourselves to use the internet so we don’t end up with eight hour phone bills!

The way I see it, the internet isn’t perfect, but it has helped break down barriers and produced a dialogue where none might have previously existed. From fellow blogger (and master ranter) Amra in Australia, to Miss Ginsu Tongue in Arizona to Vincent, Russel (who was not at Harrogate but will be at BoucherCon, which is a damn good thing!) and this guy who goes on about sheep (must live in Wales) I’ve been able to meet some wonderful people. Then, of course, there are people like Steve, with whom I have the best arguments.

And the evil Satan. Who spares me a trip to the doctor’s office for the regular blood pressure checks.

But when I hear of kids being lured by online predators, I’m reminded of the dark side of the equation. It’s one thing for us adults to use the internet. Quite another to know how to draw the lines where kids are involved.

My sister recently dropped by my blog and said, “It’s pretty irreverent.” I smiled. Ah, my work was complete! I don’t even have my “real life with a touch of irreverence” slogan at the top at the moment, and she still picked up on the tone.

Contest question for today.

By now you should know you can go back to Thursday and enter for every question I’ve put up so far.

What will today’s question be?

Name three books written by the author I recently met in Edinburgh.

And, for a bonus question, What is the name of the forthcoming title by that same author, which will be released in the UK and Canada this fall?

See, I’m not even making these too hard. I’m so nice.


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Sandra said: "I received a half dozen email requests for my various pets to become buddies with other animals on Catster."

I'm very concerned that you're letting your cats go into chatrooms when you know what kind of sickos are out there.

Cornelia Read said...

I keep getting searches for duct tape fetish stuff, as in "pretty ladies gagged with duct tape" and "duct tape Bounty gagging." Can't remember WHERE on my website I reference duct tape, but it must be somewhere. I'm pretty sure it wasn't being used to gag pretty ladies--probably to repair my shoes or something.

And I want you to monitor your cats really closely when they're romping online. Kitties today need supervision--I totally agree with Patrick!

Julia Buckley said...

Your kittens are so cute! Especially their bellies, which they are trusting enough to show you on a regular basis, apparently. :)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Patrick, you raise a good point. That's it, they're banned from the computer.

Cornelia, duct tape? Hmmmm. Did you know I once came up higher on a technorati search for Mark Billingham than his site did? Just goes to show how weird the internet can be.

Julia, we do see a lot of bellies. Rebus, Stuart, Rascal, Skittles - they're all back sleepers. Very cute.

anne frasier said...

awwww. as my daughter used to say back when she had a speech impediment: shweet!

Tempest Knight said...

That pic of the Siberian Huskies reminded me of my godmother's ones. At one point she had 8 of them, all champions at varios competitions. *g*
That pic of the kitty is so cute. Makes me want to rub his tummy.

DesLily said...

You sure are surrounded by a lot of animals!!.. animal people are always the best!
Careful letting them on line.. wildcats "Frank" found kitty porn!! (the horrors of it all!)

Sandra Ruttan said...

Anne, that's cute!

Tempest Knight, 8 champions. Wow! Huskies are beautiful dogs. And there are lots of tummy rubs in this house.

DesLily, the horror indeed! That's terrible! Should I be worried about posting pictures that someone might pervert for their own wicked purposes?

The things people do...

Anonymous said...

Love the positions. They're such little movie stars aren't they? Are you looking for homes for the little ones?