Netiquette. You gotta know when to hold ’em..

So, it’s really only been over the past week or so that I have realised how much I have a) come to rely on the old t’internet, and b) how well I can navigate my way around it.

Leaving Uni ten (count ’em) years ago, they had given us all email addresses but nobody was using them. Ten years ago.

Blimey, it’s like talking about mangles and spinning tops.

Cut to 2009 and I’m giving a presenation to 150 SME owners on the merits of online social networking for the benefit of small businesses and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is on Facebook.


I think.

Dad bought me the imac when I was on maternity leave nearly 9 years ago. I had no idea the difference really between PC and Mac, but I liked the colours of the funky new monitors. That’s me. Style over Substance.

Well, it looked cool. Nobody thought that an integral disc drive of some sort would be useful and it took at least another 6 years before it got upgraded.

Them were the days.

Ask Jeeves was the search engine of  choice, you could actually sell stuff on ebay without a photographic accompaniment ( who had  a digital camera in 2000? ) and I had nowhere else to browse except the April 2001 board on

Logging on meant dial up with that horrible screechy bubbly ear bleed noise that, when it did actually connect with the cyberspace ether cost 9 quid a minute, or thereabouts.

Thus began my unfortunate alliance with AOL. We’ve been together ten long years now, and this love/hate dalliance has seen us both through a lot of change. Me , three kids and four countries;  them, countless ear bashings, astounding new levels of ineptitude and a transfer to an Indian Call Centre System. Forget Love/Hate actually. It’s just Hate. I am undeniably attached to my email address though, and, like all imperfect relationships, is all part of the package. It’s like ‘ I love you an ‘all, but can you not put wet towels back on the rail…’

Anyone remember Friends Reunited? …..thought not.

But seriously , it changed everything didn’t it?. People actually got married/divorced/shagged/murdered by it.

Millions of armchair recluses became cyber lotharios/ stalkers /attractive blondes called Deirdre with the realisation that you a) barely had to get off your arse, b) could see bare naked ladies and everything c) share photo’s of your white bits and d) didn’t have to actually BE the person you were pretending to be when participating in ‘chat rooms’ (wow, ‘chat rooms’ -so 2004).

Fast forward a bit and I’ve gotta say that the new social media satiates both my huge level of nosiness and lack of  patience like never before. It’s the internet equivalent of my Grandad and the telly remote.

Flick flick flick.

Landing on a page no longer than a nanosecond if you haven’t caught my attention with a compromising celeb snap or a huge lifestyle revelation on a local womens forum from someone I am going to spend the rest of the day wandering if I know becuase they’ve called themselves something like  ‘street 72MirdiffMary’  as their username and told the world where their husband works every time they’ve posted. (which incidentally is an average of 46 times per day, with a noticable break between 8 and 8.30am and 1.45 and 2.15pm)

Is that chat board or just bored?

Listen, I’m as guilty as anyone. Can’t beat a  bit of for some long distance voyeurism and a good laugh. The level of intelligent debate has really jumped the shark mind since many members set up their own super secret renegade group elsewhere. And.. STOP.

Rewind… Grown women set up super secret renegade … blah blah. Is this what’s become of us? Is our social circle so limited these days we have to rely on complete strangers via a laptop screen for companionship, laughs and advice?

What’s HH Shk. Mo doing on Facebook anyway?  throwing virtual sheep at his ‘friends’ ?? taking the ‘how well do you know Paris Hilton?’ quiz?

Cos I’m certainly not. I upload photo’s of the kids when I remember for the benefit of muchos family abroad (saves me promising to email and failing miserably) and very much enjoy gawping at the relative weight gain, career success and or failure, and hilariously indiscreet and attention seeking status updates of people I never cared to seek out for the past 20 years yet now consider a ‘friend’

DISCLAIMER. I do actually know and like some of my facebook contacts . Honest. You’ll know who you are. Interestingly however, most of my pals with real big girl jobs don’t seem to have much time for online networking. Though registered, it’s good to see the law/accountancy and teaching professions actually doing some work .

I’m plucking up the courage to start posting on my favourite haunts the answers that I’d LIKE to post rather than either nodding sympathetically or adding a pointless twopenneth.

AM I PREGNANT? writes mommyto6.

Dear mommyto6.

 Despite all attempts , my telekinetic 3d abdominal scan facilty doesn’t appear to be working tonight via the power  of the laptop, so…I don’t know love, are you?

IS HE HAVING AN AFFAIR? asks Street72MirdiffMary

Dear S72MM (cos we like to abbreviate)

Having walked in on Hugo and Jane from the Golf Club (is that Jonty from Goldman Sachs wife btw?) en flagrante with accompanying noises and nakedness , I’m suspecting they were doing more than practicing her swing. There’s also the small fact that the maid is visibly pregnant despite you never giving her access to the outside world for the past 4 years and the only other males in the household being a) canine and b) 5 .

I’m guaging  a guess here, and I hope it’s not too controversial or I’m going to get ‘flamed’ (lol), but  it does sound like he’s under pressure at work..

Why not book a couples only spa day from Blue Banana?… Oh, hang on…


6 responses to “Netiquette. You gotta know when to hold ’em..

  1. So true, slighly sad isn’t it?

  2. Pingback: UK Baby Parenting

  3. I have to say I feel very similar when reading certain messages on EW – have to fight the urge to give monosyllable answers to questions like ”Have you any recommendations for doctors?’ Answer – No.

  4. And here I was thinking that the famous “British humour” died with the last episode of Black Adder…

  5. Well Miss Mirdiff with midriff and virtually visible (you said it). Hugo and Jane are a cover up, I know it! I’m not paranoid. Anonymously no doubt, you got the low down as to why I had our stunning Nepali maid with her own growing midriff deported. It was my vicious Ex wasn’t it? No, not the maid, the anonymous mole. She who now wants a divorce and the 5 bedroom pad on the Palm.
    Truth is; Minjeeta, told me she was a lesbian so taking her at her word, I had nothing to do with it but the five year old Abdulla from next door came to borrow a razor when I was out one day. The rest is history.

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