Some people think the kids of today are fascinated by the internet, simply not true. The kids of today see the internet as just something that exists for their casual perusal, no different from how our generation see television. They take this amazing technological advancement as red, for granted; they can take it or leave it because it is there if they want it and for them it always has been.
The real full time users of the net are those over 30 years old, the generation that went years without it but within those miraculous decades of the 1980s and 90s we witnessed so many technological advances, video recorders, pagers, mobile phones, video game consoles and simple home computers. Back then though we could only dream of something as powerful as the internet, so when it came along we embraced it in awe, in amazement and learned to make it work for us in so many ways we couldn’t have even fathomed before. That then is the niche, that is the pulling point of the net for the over 30s, we are enthralled by it, succumbed into it, we live to surf the web.
So I suspect that by now you realise that I fall into that bracket, the 30 something’s, well yeah, I do, just. My name is Nathan Roberts and I am 31 today. Got my whole life ahead of me, well that is what I thought anyways. Let me tell you a story, about something quite major that happened to me the other day, it starts on my birthday, I didn’t go out like many people and get drunk, I simply don’t like that. I find it tricky to make and keep friends in the real world. I wager that the severe case of acne I suffered as a teenager did not help me to win friends. I never treated it when I should have, I was lazy, I felt unloved and so I had given up washing and treating the spots. That decision has come back to haunt me, the scars still scare people away. I have a good personality, people are just shallow. I know I can make friends when I am invisible. How do I do that you ask, easy with the use of the net.
By using the internet I can be someone else, anyone I want. However I only really want to be me, just without the spots. You could argue that the friends I have made online are not true friends, but you would be wrong, they care for me in such a way that no one in the real world ever has. It is amazing the difference your life can be when you are disguised behind a screen.
So anyway, yeah, there I was, it was my birthday and I had gone out and bought myself a smart phone with some money that my granddad sent in a card. At last on those few occasions I did venture outside I could access the net and chat to my friends. I sat in the park and worked out quickly how to use it. It was not long before I had downloaded a Facebook app and I was on my way, mobile social networking was a step in the right direction. I hurried on home after this; I wanted to add some pictures and things to the phone from my laptop. The only problem with my hermit-like life is that not getting out much leaves me vulnerable to the dangers of the outside. Crossing the road is one of them and I failed to stop my net surfing while undergoing the process. A simple thing, use the sound of the traffic rather than the sight of them to decide when to cross. A mistake I was about to find out, what with these quieter hybrid cars these days. The horn was what awoke me from my internet browsing and I jumped out of my skin when it forced me to look up and see that car bumper speeding into me. Evasively I jumped, narrowing escaping impact and rolled over to the grass verge. Phew I thought and continued on my way, walking and surfing the web, Jane was online and I liked her, though I have no idea if her profile picture is really her or not, she does bear a remarkable resemblance to Billy Piper. Oh, she seemed to have gone offline now.
I got in quickly, opened the door and went upstairs to my bedsit. A bedsit was all I needed as I spent most of my time, if not all of it, online. I got my laptop open and started her up. I hope Jane hadn’t gone offline for too long, I had some important sneak previews of the next series of Dr Who from a members-only website and I just know she will be eager to see them. I might even get a kiss, not a real kiss obviously, just a letter x, or even a smiley face. This is the thing though, I get onto Facebook, my number one social network site and I realise suddenly that my friend list has been completely wiped clean. I have no registered friends at all. I ask myself in frustration and shock, how did this happen, have I been hacked? I run my virus scan, shouldn’t have to really, it should alert me of any bugs. These spyware programs though are getting really clever at finding new bypasses.
As it is running I realise that I have one friend request, then another, and another. Hey, they have realised what happened and must be adding me from the start again. Could just be Facebook messing around with the layout again, they do this regularly. Just as you get used to it they change it again, I think they just get bored sitting around their office counting their money. So I check out who is first to notice that I am not their friend anymore and the request is from some joker, typical, I bet its him that hacked me. He has even got the audacity to call himself God! What a dumb ass troll!
I decide to let the public know what is happening so I update my status to: have lost my friend list, please add me again. Then I make it a public setting so that all can see it. That is of course after I ignored that joker’s friend request, God, as if.
Moments after this I noted that under my status update it said, god likes this. What, how can he like my status even if its public I have my setting set so that only friends can like a status? This troll may well be smarter than I give him credit for. Then, all of a sudden I get a notification; God accepts your friend request, write on his wall….
I never sent him a request, he sent me one and I denied it. I will ban this bloke right now, and I send a message to Facebook, informing them I wish to report and block this person. In seconds it is done, well done Facebook, it is smart at picking up cyber bullies and trolls. In less than a second after this he comments on my status, you cannot un-friend the creator! Wise guy I guess, I need to get this bloke off my system. I then get another comment, this time from the second joker in my friend request; this seems to be a gang that are operating. It simply says, oh dad, they never believe you at first. The bloke’s named himself Jesus Christ, what an idiot.
Then I realise that both of them have hacked into my account and added me as a friend without my approval, the third person, going by the name of Elvis Presley had done the same now too, and simply added, uh-huh to the status.
I ban them all again, then God comes back, Jesus and Elvis follow. How are these jokers doing this? I become enraged now, I bet Jane is wondering where I am. I drop the trolls for a bit and search for Jane, Whittington is her surname. There are a few suggestions that come up but none of them match her profile picture, I cannot find her. Perhaps the same thing has happened to her. I try some other friends; I cannot seem to locate any of them.
That is when this God bloke decides to start a chat with me, he says: You can’t contact your old friends this way; you need to find new ones.
How have you done this? I respond with.
So he says: lol, not me, you did it!
How do you think I did that? I return with.
You should have looked across the road you nincompoop!
What a twat, but how does he know this; he must be following me or surveying me. This makes me nervous, I must contact the police. Who knows what this bloke is capable of?
Suddenly the others start to add to the chat message, impossible, a Facebook chat is only two way. Jesus starts off with: m8, dunt worry bout my dad, lol :O)
Elvis says: uh-huh.
I add: if you don’t stop this I will go to the police…
God: lol, psml!!!
Jesus: Dad!!!! Do a miracle or something!
Me: what is his problem?
Jesus: who Elvis, oh dunt worry bout him, he always follows us, just ignore him lol!
It would seem that Jesus is a bit more down to earth, the God bloke is seriously pissing me off and the Elvis is just annoying but maybe that is just a front, they are working together and want me to affiliate with one of them. I should not be playing this dangerous game; I should walk anyway, check out Twitter. God adds: I am sorry my friend, please do not be alarmed, you are dead you see, you should have been watching the road. It is nobodies thought but your own. You see I have streamlined heaven; it was getting too busy as a real entity and so I have created it more simply as a Facebook like page, please like it and you will get into heaven…..
Oh…soz, forgot link! Lol, silly me: here it is: www.facebook/pages/heaven.com.
It really is getting beyond a joke now, malware it has to be, they are putting a Trojan on my system. I am not clicking on that link. I reply: are you kidding, do you think I was born yesterday?
God: you were born 18/4/82 at St John’s hospital, Slough, at 22:35. Weighing in at 8 pound 4 oz. Your mother was Sarah Roberts and father Justin Roberts of 27 Duke Avenue, Basingstoke…..
I cut in, he certainly has done his homework on me, what is he trying to do is what I am wondering.
Jesus: just do a miracle pops!
So I check over to Twitter, sure enough my 10K of followers and equal amount of people I follow have been deleted, only I now follow these dweebs, God, Jesus, and Elvis. In seconds flat they are following me. I get a direct message from the one posing as God: you cannot escape us, you have to accept it! I’m sending you a geeky miracle now!
Suddenly without warning my laptop is downloading a video, I try to cancel it, I try then to delete the file but it plays automatically, it is Star Wars! Episode 7! They have not even put that into production yet, but I have the movie, I’m watching it! I cannot stop it. I notice that episodes 8, 9 and 10 have also been downloaded too. Amazing, how are they…..
Suddenly without warning a key turns in the lock of my bedsit door, locked in fear I watch the landlady enter with a sad face. Distraught looking, my mum and dad follow in after her, they look like they’ve the weight of the world on their shoulders and they are carrying bin bags. They start to put all my stuff in them. “Mum!” I call out but they ignore me.
I look at the computer screen; God has sent me another direct message: hold up your hand.
Shuddering with terror I raise my hand to face, it is not there. I quickly look down at my body, I am invisible, totally. I call out “Dad!” but he continues to fill the bags with my belongings.
God sends another message: like the Facebook page Nathan and you will find new friends, even Gene Roddenberry is here!