Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.
Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.

#PoeticLicence: We have learnt the dark ways of the internet

By Rabbie Serumula Time of article published Aug 1, 2021

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Johannesburg - More South Africans are buying cars without viewing them in person first.

I remember a time when people would order goods online and receive scale models of those items.

A time when the darkness of the internet was feared.

It was not too long ago when a Nigeria prince would send you an email from his Yahoo account.

He has gym bags full of money coming your way, all you need to do is send a small fee to their account for administration and you are set.

Cash is then supposed to flood your account.

But there is never a wave, just sand storms in the savannah.

The walls of our mouths are synonymous with hooks from, the still ever so commonly attempted, phishing scams.

We have been swimming with sharks while bleeding.

We have scabs, but have familiarised ourselves with the climate.

We have grown gills. We have sprouted scales, and fashioned fins.

When you dive into murky waters filled with piranhas, you either make a splash or a cannonball. When you swim with piranhas, you either become a snack, or a cannibal.

We have learnt the dark ways of the internet.

We are cannibals, eating away at unsuspecting clout chasers looking to make a quick buck on Whatsapp stokvels.

But survival is hotwired into our DNA.

It has always been, even before the words “let there be light” were spoken.

If light had to be summoned, then darkness is older. This should be as obvious to decipher as between the sun and the moon, which is colder?

More South Africans are buying cars without viewing them in person first.

I remember a time when the darkness of the internet was feared.

Suh·vai·vl has not always been pronounced this way.

It is the propensity, the natural tendency to want to live, even when you have nothing to live for. It used to be pronounced as follows; eat or be eaten.

Scam or be a victim.

The internet giveth and the internet taketh.

Those who have experienced the latter, have Hellopeter’d their tales.

How mighty the internet, hallowed be its name.

The people got scammed, the more we learned how to protect ourselves.

Too often it has been said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from the mistakes of others. But the wisest person learns from others's successes.

Your neighbour bought a new 65” TV set.

It was courier from an online store.

You have now heard of a person who was scammed, and now know a person who is satisfied with their online order.

You now know the dark and bright side of this. You decide to buy a small item for yourself. It works well. You are partially converted. You get more. You are accustomed.

There are more and more people in your circle who purchase in the same manner. And starting to seem safer.

Much like with Covid-19; herd immunity relies on a large enough number of citizens getting vaccinated. Vax on… vax off – those who do will save the lives of those who don't.

Back when the darkness of the internet was feared, we used to be oblivious to technicalities such as “what is the actual size of this motorbike I am buying online?”

We are evolving. We are learning to detach. To break the hold holding us back from growth.

Growing to become more trusting. There is a thin line between trust and naivety.

The Saturday Star

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