Sunday, January 20, 2008


Last week, I had left my machine on overnight and my chat program (Pidgin) running and got up to find a message waiting for me. This was different from the typical spam messages one is likely to receive in that the person actually had a real online profile. Actually, there were two profiles, one indicating that she was a single 30 year old fashion designer in London and the other that she may have been living in Virginia Beach. My own profile was three years out of date so I didn't find anything to suggest any deception.

I responded to the message that I was going to work and would be back 12 hours later.

She responded "i will like to talk with u" 45 minutes later when I was again away from my machine.

The next day we again missed each other.

On the third day I made a point of not going to bed early on the chance that she would be on after 10 as she had been the first time she tried to talk to me.

sara: Hello hey
sara: are u there
geis: Indeed, I am.
sara: Nice to meet u
geis: And good to have a sentient on the other end. Most of the messages I receive are from spam bots.
geis: So, what brought you to be knocking on my virtual door?

And that was it. She didn't respond after that. Was she really a bot that I confused with my response. Was she a human confused by my response. My sentence structure when I write is sometimes archaic, having been influenced by my early reading of Verne and Wells, but it's certainly more clear that the online Newspeak of "r u ther." I know I can be frightening at times (I scared one of my daughter's friends just by saying "Hi, how ya' doin'") but surely I'm not that scary.

It was quite odd.

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