Ghosts In The Machine

Every time I come on this site the little orange tab at the bottom right of the screen indicates "Chat" and a number. I assume this is intended to be the number of people signed into the site at any given time.

Assuming this is so, and please could "the management" enlighten me if I'm wrong, why is it that the number in the orange tab is never the same as the number of names when I open the tab to see who's about?

A more suspicious mind than mine (yeah OK, they don't exist I grant you) might suspect that there is a way for people to remain invisible. To observe and not be seen. To, in effect be a ghost.

This got me thinking (yes....thank you...lets get all the jokes about hearing the grinding of wheels out of the way shall we?) why would anyone need, or even more ominously. want to be unseen?

After much thought I could only come up with two scenarios. One for need (perhaps) and one for want.

Let's take need first. Admins might need to seem not to be there when on the hunt for scammers and/or underagers. However knowledge of who the admins are, published as members know, under "Meet the team" is not necessarily the first port of call for the ungodly or unwashed undesirables.

Now there's want. Why would anyone actually want to be invisible? After all, this is a chat site. We're here to chat, are we not? So why hide? There might be a few reasons, but none of those that occurred to me are either good, honest or remotely honourable.

Right! That's it! I've chucked the pebble into the still pond and the ripples will spread and eventually fade so the surface will appear as before, but the pond will be forever changed because it now has one more pebble.

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. starlette

    Hello Way, you should have been a member of the C.I.A. or the F.B.I……..
    but I too always wonder where the rest are hiding ……….and talking of being invisible that is a power I wish I had………..slightly off track re scammers, but a couple of weeks ago I gave a curt reply to who I thought was a scammer, he turned out to be genuine…….Oooops
    …….butttt……..if someone refers to me as Madam and the first things he asks me are my age, and if I am married or in a relationship then I am on my guard, now I know the Americans use the term Madam but he was Scottish, perhaps its a common term there too…….

  2. 2doghouse

    wow, waylander… excellent. I’m not a fan of invisible people. Guessing the reason is a “want” rather than a “need”. Weren’t these people called LURKERS and chastised? Sounds like spying to me.

  3. waylander Post author

    Madam, where I come from (Glasgow) does not mean One who keeps a bawdy house” It’s used in the absence of the knowledge of a female’s status (Mrs., Miss, Ms. etc) so it’s use would not overtly appear suspicious, however age, are you married, bra size etc most definitely would seem so, so I don’t blame you for any curt replies you might have made.

  4. waylander Post author

    Spying????? Jutta, wash your typing fingers out with soap! How could you even suggest such an underhanded thing could occur?

  5. roseinbloom

    Eavesdropping, an age old habit is no different in the cyber world than it is in the real world and the reasons for doing it are the same. I have heard some people talking about what was said behind their backs, so how does that work?
    I don’t have the tech skills to lurk undiscovered and I am not motivated to learn them, but I do believe it can be done.

  6. CSweet51

    why does it matter way? This is an open forum. What is discussed can or will be passed on anyway if what a person has said is of any interest to someone.
    Ours is not to talk about others when they are not on here anyway. I know it happens but it doesn’t make it right.
    I guess I don’t really care if someone is invisible. Let them. Maybe they don’t want to talk at that time but just want to keep up with what is going on.

  7. waylander Post author

    It matters not at all, CS. As you say, anything said here will probably be relayed to others, directly or or indirectly.

    To be honest, what I expected from this blog was one reply from an admin explaining either how I was getting the wrong end of the stick or a complicated technical explanation of why it appears that way that I would almost certainly not have really understood or a series of scathingly comic replies from members on here.

    It was intended as an amusing aside to some of the more serious subjects raised in blogs. It didn’t quite work out that way.

    1. roseinbloom

      It matters to me. I like to know who is in the room and it is creepy not to know. I just had an innocent conversation twisted into a pretzel and rewriten almost entirely. It may be a technicality, but I am like waylander, I like to know something about what is going on.

  8. rose1943

    Could it be that one number shows chatters talking openly and the other shows the amount in the room. Since chatters can talk privately in it, on and off, that number would change. I choose to believe that. I also believe in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. It’s easier. ?? Rose1943