If you want to embarrass yourself, the Internet is the perfect place to do it. This brought back to me full-force today, and I thought back over the years to some of my old chat-room slip-ups.
I don't really care for Instant Messages, unless there's really something to talk about; just to IM somebody and say, "What are you doing?" or "How are you?" (unless they've been sick recently) isn't my kind of thing.
Back in the old chat room where I used to while away countless hours, there were some people who could get my dander up a bit. Jerry was one of these, and although I consider him a friend, and still talk to him in a chat room from time to time, sometimes he got on my last nerve. I'm sure he feels the same about me. When he'd get on a rant in the chat room, rather than go off on him in the public forum, I'd IM a friend and let her hear my opinion. That way, it didn't turn into a world war, and my friend and I would have a few harmless laughs.
To IM someone in an AOL chat room, you double-click their name on the right side of the chat screen. Folks, if you do this, be SURE you double-click the right name. Because the snide remark I was making about Jerry this particular time went straight to him; I had clicked the wrong name. Yes, I deserved the embarrassment.
Recently I was going to IM Celeste, my J-land pal, to invite her to an AOL group I belong to. I double-clicked her name, I thought, and typed the invitation; but it wasn't her. It was someone I just had on my buddy list for the heck of it, and she would not have been the least bit interested in my group. How do you explain to a total stranger that you "accidently" instant messaged them?
I have an online acquaintance who, if she receives an e-mail that is one of the "urban legends" or hoaxes going around, sends everyone on her mailing list the facts about the "lies", making the poor person who sent it out feel like a fool.
Today I got an e-mail from this person that was, in part, an Urban legend. Perhaps some of you have seen it, a picture of a man with a huge bear he shot in Alaska. The bear isn't as big as the story says, and the bear did not have human remains in his stomach, as the e-mail contends.
Well now, of course I couldn't wait to point her to Snopes.com to get the real facts, like she is always doing with other people. Which would have been fine. But then I decided to forward it to a friend in e-mail, telling her about the snopes site, etc.
But instead of clicking "forward", I clicked reply. So, the sender of the big-bear e-mail received the little gloating note intended for my friend.
Just a few of my embarrassing Internet moments. I could write a book.
And yes, I deserve every embarrassing moment I've mentioned.
PS I'm sending this link to Jerry as part of my penance for wrong-doing.