Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Unintentional eavesdropping and the Internet

The Internet has made it so easy to make use of information gleaned from unintentional eavesdropping. That sounds like an oxymoron, but truly, “it” happens…

During today’s workout, two women were conversing across multiple pieces of equipment—it was impossible not to hear their conversation. Some of it was interesting because my muscles were screaming obscenities, and I was trying to ignore them. Some of it actually pertained to my life—that’s the most rewarding unintentional eavesdropping. Ooooh, so that’s why… VoilĂ , problem solved by someone I don’t even know.

Sometimes, like today, events are mentioned that I want to attend….I just don’t know I want to attend until I overhear their existence. One woman talked about an upcoming, Little River Band concert--I perked right up. Even my muscles stopped griping and listened.

Let me state right now that the virtues of this band are often overlooked—I loved them during the 70s—even the singers' apparent ages and probable loss of octaves doesn’t diminish my memories. Wow, I can hear all three of my brothers groaning...how do they do that in stereo and across such long distances??

Unfortunately, the women I was listening to gave no pertinent details—it was a definite conundrum. I certainly didn’t want to admit eavesdropping, although they were talking across me, quite loudly. Still, I was brought up with Miss Manners—she’s a stickler for etiquette details.

Then it hit me, I didn’t have to interrupt for details—I could go home and log on to the wonders of cyberspace. So I did, and my muscles were thankful, although they wouldn’t turn down a massage…

This internet excitement seems trivial to anyone born 15+ years ago, but it still amazes me. Every time I log on, I know my expression mirrors M’s when she was three and thought she magically opened electronic, supermarket doors. Quite literally, the world is at my fingertips, and I love it, day after day after day….

My kids think I’m easily entertained…I know they’re missing out on a wondrous sense of magic…

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