Re. E-mail's social implications

Subject: Re. E-mail's social implications
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 09:13:19 LCL

Misti Delaney notes that the trust you develop
over the course of a long e-mail relationship can
be as deep as what you develop in face-to-face
meetings. This is true, as several e-marriages (!)
have proved, but remember that you're still
dealing with people, and people are more than the
social face that you see. A case in point:

Back in my bulletin boarding (BBS) days, I
developed a deep and trusting friendship with a
woman who ran a BBS. We chatted daily, for hours
sometimes, including phone calls later in the
relationship. One day, an e-friend (!) from the
same BBS called to ask my advice about a dilemma:
he was being coaxed by "someone (female) we both
knew" to use his hacking skills to break into a
city computer, and he knew others who were under
similar pressure. Shortly afterwards, I lost
contact with him and with the woman who ran the
BBS. No clear idea of what happened, except that
the BBS was there one day and gone the next, and
the paper ran a story shortly afterwards about a
woman in the same area as my e-friends who had
been arrested for running using teenagers to hack
into city computers. I don't believe in most

This wouldn't have affected my relationship with
the woman, as she was always fair and honest with
me, except that I moved out of the city shortly
afterwards and had no way of getting back in touch
other than through her BBS. My point is that what
we see through our social interactions is only the
tip of the iceberg, and many a ship gets sunk on
that part that lies unseen beneath the waves.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one
of our reports, it don't represent FERIC's

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