Is it just me, or is the Internet getting creepier lately?
Maybe it’s just an unfortunate confluence of events, but just this past week we’ve had the Rutgers roommate webcam feed leading one young man to suicide, along with the Duke University graduates “Fuck List,” an in-depth analysis of the intimate details of her encounters with her college classmates.
Then, we've got the strange case of the Michigan Assistant Attorney General essentially cyberstalking the president of the University of Michigan Student Council. Yes, you read that right. A public servant cyberstalking a college kid.
And just yesterday, the St. Pete Times published a column that stemmed directly from an insensitive comment left on one of their message boards. A few weeks back, a man was hit while riding his bicycle along a major road, one of five bicyclists killed in the Tampa Bay region in just the last few weeks.
In the initial article about the incident, the reporter noted the man was 48 years old and worked as a dishwasher at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called the Crab Shack. The comment that instigated yesterday’s article went something like, “If you’re 48 years old and working as a dishwasher at the Crab Shack, you’re better off dead.”
Now, I’ve become inured to insensitive comments left on newspaper web sites. In fact, I suspect it was simply a bad joke. However, it was enough to generate a follow-up article which nicely told the life story of the man who was “better off dead.”
At any rate, it just seems to me the Internet is getting . . . creepier lately, reaching out its ever growing tentacles and affecting the real lives of real people. And given my hobby, I can’t help but wonder if it knows exactly what it’s doing.