Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Lis does some mythbusting!

About 4am I started thinking about some myths, confusion and untruths of our modern world. And I don't really want to be preachy, but I also hear (or see) myself debunking some of these myths time and time again. Here is an uncomprehesnive list of lies people love to buy into.

1. Facebook will soon start charging for its services.
An oldie but a goodie, this concept has been floating around free email and social media websites for years. Facebook and its counterparts won't start charging for services. Why? They would lose their market audience.

"Did I hear you say 'market'?"

Too right Sonny Jim. Ever wonder why those small ads often relate to you? Yes, it is a creepy world, where you pay for your free website using your identity. On the other hard, collecting data on your interests does prove useful and I have often clicked on ads just because they relate to what I'm interested in. So that's how I'm paying for it.

2.  SMS/emails/private messages can't be tracked. I have privacy settings!
I have pretty high privacy settings on Facebook and it is hard for people to contact me if they don't have any prior connections to my little world. However, how do you think police make statements about FB activity, times of phone calls or text messages, even when deleted? Is it because the owner of that page or technology gave them their password? No.

3. On the other hand... ____ hacked into my FB page! Oh noes!
This annoys me so much. No one hacked into anyone's account, they simply left their account signed in and someone else (usually a sibling, housemate or one of "those" friends) used it to write annoying things, troll or otherwise be a nuisance. This isn't hacking. This is just failing to log out of your Facebook account or having people in your life who are rude enough to use your account to write stupid stuff no one cares about. In my seven years with the technology, I have never been "hacked" or left my FB logged in so other people can use it. If you ccare about your own FB account, log out. It isn't that hard.

4. Things remain broken. For-ev-er.
This is a lie I have never really been able to buy. My dad can fix pretty much everything. Actually, the only thing he couldn't fix was my Baby Secrets doll who fell out of my hospital bed when I had my tonsils out. Computer virus? Sorted. Electronic diary thrown into the bath? Sorted (actually, it came back even better, the thing didn't beep everything you pressed a key). Security tag left on from shopping spree at target? Sorted.

With the rise of YouTube, how to videos are readily accessible. Sites like Life Hack make it easier to find ways to solve broken items issues in your life. Use your noggin and Google, and you should be well on your way to fixing broken stuff.

5. Do Not Call Register - I shall never get an annoying call again!

I have signed my grandma and our own home phone up for this service. Several times. Apparently you remain on the register for eight years. On the other hand, it is simply cold sales calls who shouldn't be calling you. We get charities and surveys all the time. We also have companies we have services with call every few months. Check the website for more information, but simply put, it is worth being on the register, but don't except unsolicidated calls to stop altogether because they won't.

6. "I never answer silent numbers"
I hear this all the time.

Granted, I have had my phone number for 12 years now, so I rarely get any calls which are wrong numbers, telemarketers or creepy people. However, here's a short list of calls I have received from silent numbers:
-Australian Tax Office
-Department of Education offering me work
-Australia Post
-Friends who are protecting their phone ID for work purposes

That should be reason enough to answer private numbers.

7. "Aren't cruises for old people?"
I love cruising.

Maybe The Love Boat misled some crazy people into thinking it was just oldies, gold diggers and millionaires who cruise. I have sailed with P&O twice and about to embark on my third cruise. It depends on which company you travel with, and when. My experiences are during holidays, so there are many families on board and they are well catered to. On the other hand, other cruise lines cater to older people, especially depending on your itinerary. If you have always wanted to cruise, but the concept of a 'floating RSL' has held you back, talk to a knowledgeable travel agent about what would best suit you.

8. A handwritten note must be true. It's handwritten.
 I see handwritten notes all the time on social media, and people are always like "Good for you! I'm glad someone rescued that dog from the hot car/dumped your mean boyfriend in a funny way/ got another one up on the police". It gets old quickly. And while those things might be good (especially the dog one), it doesn't mean they are real.

One that has been circulating for months now has been the slightly pyscho and stalker like girl who has hidden her ex-boyfriend's belongings in all their 'special' locations. You can see that story here.
What bothers me most about this:
- why is the letter still in a notebook?
- why don't we know the author's name?
- this thing is viral - why have we never heard from Kelsi, the boyfriend or the girlfriend? Or any of their friends?

I'm waiting for my good friends at to debunk this one eventually.

Of course, this is a short list, but one I really wanted to get through to those of you playing at home.