analogy thursday: web surfing

I am going to deem today analogy Thursday, as I was looking for some ideas on analogies for how dangerous the Internet is, namely the web. It is just an odd situation that the Internet is inherently bad and malicious and that users need to take care when surfing. Yeah, like many people really truly take care…
What if television surfing were as dangerous as web surfing? This means that as you flip channels into some of those more obscure higher-digit stations, one may just hijack your television box and switch channels around, or just force them to switch much slower or only view their station until you reset the box and start from scratch. Oops!
What if shopping in a mall were as bad as surfing for places to shop online? Outside of some shops we’d have people jumping up in front of you with signs and coupons and good deals in hand, sometimes getting right in your face and flashing their goofy colorful smiles, causing young children to begin crying. In addition, random stores may put things in your pockets that you won’t realize melted in the hot sun until you get home and put your hand in there. Oops! They might even put an RFID tag on you while you’re not paying attention, and then follow you around through the rest of the mall. And city. And into your home, happily writing down everything you do on the off chance that they will learn how to market better to you. Who knows when you get into those stores!
And those free samples of chicken at the grocery store? Yeah, nothing is free. In fact, those samples contain powerful lingering doses of laxatives that will force you to stay on the pot for an hour each day for a month. But hey, the grocery store offers toilet paper and other remedies for a fee to help deal with that!
What if browsing a library for books to read were like browsing web sites? Every now and then, a book would take it upon itself to grab your arm and not let go, despite the alarms you cause when you walk out of the building and the nasty looks you get. In fact, some books may look like children’s books, but inside are pop-up porn cut-outs. Oh, those long-lost joys of pop-up books! Yay!
Now, the one place where an analogy is a lot more appropriate for the web would be roaming around in nature. You never know if you might turn a bend and run into a bear, a rattlesnake, or even swim up on a stringray. You might just get chomped, bit, or speared if you’re not constantly careful and aware of the dangers. And the more dangerous a particular area seems, the more likely it is dangerous. Thankfully nature typically provides warnings such as a snake’s rattle or colorful markings on dangerous creatures. Likewise, web sites give off warnings too, if you know how to look for them. And would you stick your hand in a strange hole in the ground or sleazy looking pond without first doing some risk analysis on the odds of a badger or water-borne parasite present? And lets not even think about ninjas and how they might stealth up on the trail when you least expect it.
The web isn’t what it used to be. While it has become prettier (not including MySpace pages which is the new GeoCities) and more useful and informative, it has certainly become a lot more dangerous, insidious, and complex.