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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Private Browsing Day 9 Year 2

from Safari
I was a pre-teen when I discovered the pamphlet in my father’s top bureau drawer.  I was simply trying to put away his laundry and I saw the small booklet entitled, “Things a Teen Wants to Know.” This was a temptation too hard to resist.  Upon inspection, I recognized it as something I had seen in my sister’s room a few years earlier.  I devoured it.  Then, I replaced it in the same spot.  Without just the smallest twinge of guilt.  That small niggling feeling of perhaps-maybe? doing something wrong was just about gone by the fourth or fifth time I read it.  When the big day came for my parents to reveal the secret of becoming a young woman, I was way ahead of the curve. My parents and I sat in a circle on the screened-in porch.  I looked at each of them, thanked them for taking the time to talk with me, then told them I was all set.  They looked puzzled.  In my mother’s hand, I saw the familiar pamphlet.  She gently placed it by her side.  We all stood up, hugged and proceeded to scatter to different rooms of the house. 
This small clip from childhood occurred to me when I stumbled upon a feature offered on my Safari browser;  Private Browsing.

It read:   Safari can keep your browsing history private. When you turn on private browsing, Safari doesn’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information.

This application leads to speculation on my behalf.  Where would I go, what might I find? Whom might I be misleading? Is this a case like the one in When Harry Met Sally? I would have a secret correspondent, maybe. Or would I have a clandestine husband from another life in my personal version of The Pilot’s Wife?  Maybe I would want to hide my passion for collecting Cabbage Patch Dolls from the judgmental eyes of the world at large.  Would that mean my cookies -- those minuscule digital pieces of information about me -- would not be left as evidence of my cyber wanderings? It all seems so positively wrong.  In my head, I hear my mother intoning, “If you need to do something as sneaky as that, you much be up to no good.”  

I haven’t tried it yet, but I intend to cross over to the wild, albeit, discrete, side and see what it’s all about. The argument could be made that, simply by using the application, I am shedding light on a shadow-world.  I’ll keep you posted about my findings on life on the Dark Side.

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