On Sunday, Irene didn't do very much by the way of damage to my area of Central New York. We were without power for a few hours, some roads, including the NYS thruway were flooded and closed. A tree fell in my yard, missing the house and the window I was standing in front of by a foot and my sunflowers looked as if someone had been dancing til dawn in their midst.
She arrived at 5 am here and when the sun came up I could see that she had brought the usual debris with her. I don't remember any wind of any strength happening at that hour. As a matter of fact, it just seemed to be a stiff breeze combing the trees and taking out all the snarls caused by dead branches. It was raining and I don't believe it stopped until just before bedtime that night. The ground was so saturated that the tree, and my sunflowers were blown over exposing their roots.
The tree was a white birch of some height, just not as tall as others, for which I am grateful. I was standing in the bedroom looking out the window when I became aware that it was falling. At me. The whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion and fear kept me rooted to the spot. I couldn't move, couldn't make a sound and wasn't sure what had happened when it was all over. All I knew was that the tree was down and both I and my home were undamaged. Then I fell apart. It was as if someone found my "On" switch, and pushed it.
Once my electricity came back on and my internet seemed to be working, I thought all was going to be fine. Then my internet went out leaving me with the TV as my only entertainment option other than reading a book. I'd done that while the power was out, so TV it was. That was when we found out that I didn't have connection to both satellites so we were limited in our choices. Hubby kept getting stuck on the channels that weren't available, so in disgust he handed me the remote. The chance of a lifetime and we didn't have a full selection of programs for me to play with.
ABC had a 20/20 Special Report on called the Sixth Sense. I wasn't going to watch it until Chris Cuomo said that "One out of five people you meet on the internet is not who they say they are". Ok, THAT got my attention. I knew that there are a lot of fakes online, just never thought about a specific number.
The first hour was about what happened to a young man who wasn't really looking for love in all the wrong places, he just happened to fall into it. He's the subject of the documentary movie "Catfish". You can read more about that movie here.
The second hour ended in the death of a young man in his 20's. The usual eternal triangle, with a twist. The female in question wasn't a young hot chick as she was advertising herself, she was the Mom of the girl whose picture she posted online. The DA's office in Buffalo, NY is trying to find a way to charge this person for her part in the crime. What she did is morally reprehensible, but sadly, it's legal. She didn't intend to harm anyone, she was just having fun.
The kind of things these women have done online would never have occurred to me. Even at my lowest point when Mom hadn't been gone for a year and I was losing my Dad, it never crossed my mind to amuse myself at the expense of others. One thing has been made understandable to me. I now know why so many people are always concerned with how many identities someone has online. If that 1 in 5 figure is even half way correct, that's a lot of fakers. I've come to the conclusion, and I may be wrong, that most of those fakers are doing nothing more than hiding their own identities because they don't want to wake up some morning and find that their bank accounts were emptied or that someone maxed out their credit cards.
The program was interesting. It also was designed to scare us into being fearful online. Had it not been for the reality of Irene, I would have been on the blog the very next day spreading my fear to the people that read me regularly. Somehow or other watching a tree falling towards me in a rainstorm, slightly changed my perspective on things. No matter how bad I think the internet can get, I can always turn away and shut it off. Then, when I have worked out my own feelings, my own emotions, I can turn it back on again. Falling trees have no shut off button. There's something so very final in that thought.