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October 07, 1999 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-07

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16B - The W'higan [Waiy - Weekett tc. Magazine -- Thiursday, Oftbber 7,'1999,

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RELATIONSHIPS'
Continued from Page 5B
"I met a guy online who I found
out attended my high school for a
semester before transferring," said
Katieso I figured he must be pret-
ty normal. We met in person, got
along pretty well, and began dating.
But he was a little off, and after
about two weeks of dating he began
sending me hate e-mail for no rea-
son. I had to block his mail and his
instant messages."
"One time I met a guy off AOL in
a coffee shop," said Trent, an LSA

junior. "He started writing me e-
mails about how much he liked me
and how wonderful I was. So I
stopped writing to him and he got
mad and wrote me all these mean
notes about how he thought I was
different than that."
He added, "Everyone online
claims to be 6'2", blond, athletic and
'the model type.' When you meet
them in real life, they're like 5', 300
pounds and ugly."
Aaron had an experience similar to
those of Katie and Trent. "This girl
... e-mailed me based on my pro-
file," he said. "After awhile, I finally

UM School of Music Dept of Theatre & Drama
a quirky comedy by 0 7pe
George F. Walker

agreed to meet her. Her brother was
having a party at his house and she
invited me. I was going to go, when
she flipped on me. She called me any
sort of name you could think of and
called for my public execution.
Needless to say, I never went to see
her."
The three, however, added that
they had made good friends through
the Internet, and Katie and Aaron
both reported they had been intro-
duced to significant others through
their once-online friends.
Michelle never stumbled upon the
sort of strange incidents that Katie,
Trent, and Aaron did, but she's
become iaded toward the idea of
online relationships. "A guy instant
messaged me and we started talking
. a few months later, we began talk-
ing on the phone," she said.
"Eventually, we tried to work out a
way to meet face-to-face, since he
lived in another state. However, that
never worked out and in hindsight,
I'm glad it didn't. In the end I real-
ized just how unrealistic and stupid
the entire idea was ... I will never get
involved in another online relation-
ship."
So, good idea or bad idea: Is there
a final verdict'? The opinions differ,
but anyone considering engaging in a
relationship online should consider
all the drawbacks, not just the
appealing cloak of anonymity the
Internet provides.

SHOPPING
Continued from Page 12B
lars of discount over buying the same
products from the stores. The only
major benefit in these cases is conve-
nience. But the world of internet com-
puter sales is a quantum leap apart.
Because computers are big-ticket
items, there is more room for an internet
company to play with the price and
knock off some significant dineros.
Companies like Affordable Computers
can offer such ample discounts simply
because the World Wide Web has exter-
minated the cost of the go-between. "If
we are doing a good job," said Elder,
"our phone never rings, we just get an c-
mail telling us that we sold a computer."
Elder did concede, however, that the
growing trend of virtual customization
is in fact most suited to "computer
savvy" shoppers, who comprise about
50 percent of the student population. So
what options are there for a student who
needs a computer, but has no idea where
to start? Well, that's O.K. with
AffordableComputers.com, who offers
"computer buying guide" and "help me
choose" options that offer suggestions
as to what shoppers should look for
based on their answers to some simple
questions.
But is shopping on the Internet safe?
Many students have qualms about send-
ing their credit card and personal infor-
mation over the information superhigh-
way. Is there any guarantee that vital

stats won't fall into the wrong hands?
Then the-e's the delightful world of
Internet "spam"; the last thing a busy
student needs is loads ofjunk mail for a
welcome as they turn on their computer.
Well, it will be a relief to learn that
while not 100 percent hack-proof, most
private infornmation is protected accu-
rately enough to make cracking the
code a substantial task. AOL uses 64-b
encryption, and this is the standard of
protection for the internet shopper.
Online banking institutions and govern-
ment businesses whose files contain
more personal information about their
customers are encrypted with 125 bits,
and indication that corporations are
stepping up to the plate to secure inter-
net privacy. Many companies also offer
the option for the buyer to call up an
800 number and give a telephone oper-
ator their necessary information if they
still don't feel comfortable sending it
over the web.
The old saying "the world is at your
fingertips" has really become quite lit-
eral in the last five years. Today's stu-
dents will tomorrow buy stocks, get a
mortgage, and view XXX porn all with-
out ever having to get up from a cozy
office chair. It's increasingly becoming
less and less possible to get anywhere in
today's culture without being internet-
literate. So like it or not, it's advisable to
start surfing, because the future of the
world is in high gear on the screen in
front of your (and no, that doesn't mean
the television).

this
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L

One family's BIZARRE struggle
to hold on for dear life.
play contains adult language and themes

October 7 - 9, 14 - 16 at 8pm
October 10 & 17 at 2pm

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