When I was a kid, my grandfather had an AM/FM radio that had a button you could turn in order to tune in with actual CB radio frequencies. You couldn't send any signals to CB radios yourself, but you could listen in on truck drivers or anyone who was communicating with someone else through CB radios. My friends and I would often sit at the picnic table in my backyard and listen in on whatever conversations we could actually tap into. It was hard to get the frequency, and most of the time, you could only get bits and pieces of peoples' conversations and hardly anything cohesive.
One hot summer afternoon, we actually hit upon a teenage girl and a couple of teenage boys who were planning to meet each other at the synagogue that was up the street from us. She described herself to them, saying, "I'll be wearing a Bugs Bunny T-Shirt." Of course, since the synagogue was just up the street from us, my friends and I decided to walk to the synagogue and hide in some bushes to see if what we had just heard could really transpire! Seconds later, we did see the girl with the Bugs Bunny T-Shirt and two teenage boys. We couldn't believe our eyes, but we chickened out and didn't stay hidden in the bushes for fear that they would see us! We were so innocent, we had no idea why they were planning to meet. Now, in my jaded adulthood, I'll bet they were dealing drugs. Smart of us to not stick around.
When I wasn't tuning into my grandfather's CB radio receiver, I was sitting on the top of my swing set, which enabled me to have a clear view of at least three backyards across from ours. One time, I saw a preteen girl around my age get thrown into her friend's pool! She was fully dressed, but didn't seem to mind the joke. For some reason, this horrified me, and I worried that my grandfather's brother whom I'd never met before but was coming to visit us that weekend would do the same thing to me! My mom assured me that Uncle Petie just wasn't that type. It makes me laugh now how I could ever imagine that mild-mannered old man pushing me into our swimming pool for no reason! Another time, I was swimming in my pool with my best friend, Ania, and something about the neighbors swimming in their kidney-shaped pool got my attention. I don't remember why it was I was looking at them. They were young adult women, and Ania and I were preteens, and the next thing I knew, one of the women said, "Why don't you stop watching us and look in your OWN pool!" I turned around quickly and didn't say a word, but I was shaken to the bone. I was horrified, and I felt that I was being yelled at. I felt I had done something really wrong. All of my "spying" had finally caught up with me. I felt that my spying days may be coming to an end.
That evening, I told my mom what my neighbor had said and to this day, I believe my mom's reaction is what determined whether I would continue to spy or whether I would from now on just continue to "look into my own pool." She said, "Well, how could she even know you were watching her if she wasn't watching you too?" Yes, I thought. It's true! I wasn't a bad person. She had been spying on me too!
This is why I love social networking. Because I have always been interested in what other people are thinking and doing and what they are saying to each other. Social networking makes spying OK. Everyone who shares a networking site is interested in what you're thinking, doing and saying too. And if they don't want to know your business, they don't have to be part of a social networking site. They may as well just get themselves out of the pool!