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Shannon Bardwell: Technology run amuck


Shannon Bardwell



Sharon knew her husband was cheating. She lined up four friends with cell phones along a likely route. As the husband left the marital abode the first friend followed and alerted the other friends along the way. The husband led the posse right to the front door of his love nest. Photographs were taken, proof garnered -- divorce, a done deal. 


Sam had been vandalized four times. For Christmas he received a game camera to record deer activity. He posted the game camera at the site of the vandalism and photographed the culprit in the act, complete with date, time, temperature and moon phase. 


The simplest of technological devices can make surveillance and other activities affordable for the common person. They can certainly keep one in contact with friends, family and business associates anywhere in the world. Ever resistant to technology, I remember distressing over the thought of e-mail. No one would send handwritten letters anymore. Would letters go the way of the bag phone? 


As interesting and legal as these activities are, there are some activities that are questionable, if not illegal. Carol was dining in a restaurant when an acquaintance took her picture with his cell phone. He laughingly said, "I''m going to put your picture on Facebook!" Carol politely begged him not to, but it was now his photograph on his phone for his use. She was simply dining in a restaurant. 


One of the saddest situations I''ve read is among teens. Three young girls between ages 14 and 15 sent naked pictures with their phones to boyfriends ages 16 and 17. Unfortunately, the boys shared the photos with their friends, and the information found its way to authorities. The girls were charged with manufacturing and distribution of child pornography and the boys were charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. 


It''s unlikely that the kids had any idea of the gravity or implications of what they were doing. "I''ll show you mine, if you''ll show me yours" has risen to a whole new level. The girls would have done better to send a Hallmark.  


Contrary to my concerns about e-mail, I still receive a few handwritten letters. I carry them around, read at will, respond without feeling pressed and keep them in a nice floral printed box. Once in awhile I read them again and enjoy the memories.  


I''ve heard it said that our technological man-made world grows increasingly "too much with us." I don''t know about that, but it sure can get somebody in a whole lot of trouble.


Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.


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