I am watching with interest and amusement how some of our youngsters are trying to cope with the new or social media paradigm.
It is heartening to see most are trying to embrace the empowerment presented by fast improving technology and vast opportunities for social intercourse and networking. By and large, most are content to use these new tools just to fraternize but the more adventurous attempt to "ride the tiger" so to speak and get involved in e-enabled commerce, either as sellers or buyers of services or goods off the Internet.
Faced with the frightening prospect of being unable to keep pace with an expected increasingly competitive environment, many youngsters impatiently plunge into the realm of e-business for fear of being left behind by their peers. As a result many throw themselves into the deep end and try to ride this new wave on a wing and a prayer; most of the time, armed only with the diligence to scour the Net for bargain merchandise for reselling to equally diligent bargain hunters.
Youth-run online business websites and blogs are sprouting up like mushrooms after a storm. The majority are e-trading sites retailing everything from boutique clothes, cosmetics, accessories, etc. to confectionery, appliances, gadgets and what have you.
The great information superhighway was supposed to create the perfect free and open marketplace where laissez-faire is the order of the day. Yet the reality is that we are just not there yet. While information is virtually free-flowing, it forms just one part of the business and transactional cycle. A major component of e-trading is the management of logistics coupled with the "rules of engagement".
Usually, the buyer and seller need to trust each other and this runs counter to basic human nature; the average person is pragmatic in believing the end justifies the means in being perceived as individually successful. This rugged individualism in human attitudes runs counter to universalism and resolution between the two is made all the more difficult because the need for personal status and upmanship is equated with happiness!
However, the rulebook on engagement is a work-in-progress awaiting further development in both enabling technology as well as more effective legislation. Alas, the learning is steep on a curve that is itself only now being defined.
Therefore, things are still very much grey in the world of e-trading and this is reflected in the acceptance that there is an inherent level of risk when one chooses to trade or purchase online. Without the wisdom of experience and knowledge, most immature minds cannot cope with the demands for real business responsibilities and ethical behaviour whether they be the seller or the buyer. Conflict occurs when minds do not meet and anarchy erupts.
To compound matters, aggression and avoidance behavior has been a means of survival for humans since the Stone Age and in our evolutionary process, we have a brain which does not as yet have complete control over our physiological responses. Under high emotional stress, we tend to lose rationality. As Carl Gustav Jung aptly puts it; "The rational and irrational exist side by side and healthy people recognize the workings of both forces within themselves. We should look to our mental neuroses and physical ailments as unconscious value patterns".
I am bemused while witnessing a classic dispute happening to JJ relating to an online transaction gone awry and obviously blown out of proportion by over-reaction. Self-explanatory exchanges can be found here and here. For JJ it is a learning curve.
While fault is debatable and hardly a case for the Police Commercial Crime Division, some rudeness and hassle have spilled over to my blog. Invasion of privacy aside, harassment and intimidation are definitely criminal and I will decide soon whether to press charges.
Obviously, the phone number and exact address of the perpetrator and screenshots are with me.