Hello, People. I do hope everyone is having a good week. If you aren’t, I hope it gets better.
I saw the picture above as I was doing a bit of research for something else. As I read the question, I laughed, then got just a bit sad and I’ll tell you why.
How would you answer that question? Who knows you better? Google or your next door neighbors. My answer…..Google. Yeah, big brother Google knows me a lot more than my neighbors and that’s a bit sad and a bit scary.
Why is it sad? Because it’s come to the point people don’t trust other people. Really, think about it. When I was a kid, I remember my mom being friends with the neighbors. They’d come over for coffee, or she would go over to their homes for a few hours. They would sit and talk about families, the weather, health problems, or just plain gossip about the other neighbors. That’s how it was done. They were friends. We exchanged Christmas presents. We had them over for meals. My parents and the neighbors would go out for a few beers together at the neighborhood bar. Us kids would play with their kids. We knew each other.
Now? I nod or smile at my neighbors in passing. I don’t know their names or anything about them. And they don’t know me. Times have changed. I have. Probably, a bit of both.
That’s how it’s been most of my adult years. I don’t know my neighbors and most times I’m quite happy with that. Maybe if I would have had kids it would be/been different. I don’t know. Kids have a way of bringing people together.
Then I thought of some of the neighbors I did have. Not knowing them might have been the best thing for me. ha! I remember when my BFF and I moved into our first apartment away from home. We were young, naive and full of life. We were on our own for the first time! What a heady feeling. Our neighbor was this weird married guy. He would make sure he was outside, no matter the weather when my friend and I would come home from work. He would wave and smile and say hi. If we sat outside in the summer to get a tan, there he was sitting on his stoop next door watching us. It got so bad it was like he was stalking us, so we moved.
Then I remembered the neighbor I had when I first moved in with the ex. A kindly old man who looked after his bed-ridden wife of fifty years. I thought he was a harmless old man until one day I was home alone and went outside and the old man propositioned me over the fence. The conversation started innocently enough. We talked about his old dog, our dogs, his wife and her condition. Then he says…..’I love my wife. We’ve been married for a long time, had a few kids together and I nurse her now through her declining years. But…..a man has needs. Even an old man like me has needs and the wife can’t help me with those needs. But, maybe you can. We don’t have to let my wife know, or your man know anything. We’d just have sex on the quiet. You’d enjoy it. I may be old but I got some moves.’ Then he winked at me.
I thought he was joking and laughed it off. Until he asked me a few days later if I thought over his plan and when could we start having sex. Um, no…..that’s when I knew he meant it. It got to the point if I was home alone, I looked out the windows to make sure he wasn’t around before I went out. He never did stop asking until we moved.
I’ve had a few other strange or downright crazy neighbors, so maybe being friendly was not the way to be.
Now, Google knows me much better. I don’t even know my neighbors names and I’ve lived here for almost four years. I’m ok with that. They seem ok with that. The husband knows the two ladies across the way by name and has talked with them quite a bit. I like keeping to myself. I’m a hermit at heart.
But, Google? Google knows my name, age, address and probably my phone number. It knows where I am on the internet, whether it be twitter, Facebook or other places. It knows what illness’ I have or had as I’ve Googled them. It keeps track of EVERYTHING! Like I said….big brother. You can erase things off the internet….but it’s too late. Once you type something in…..it’s in to stay. And then you can google it.
Have you ever Googled yourself? Try it. It will scare the shit out of you to see how much Google knows about you. (*cue eerie music*)