Miss Aida
The Internet has made the world a smaller place. Truly it has. E-mail makes keeping in touch just a click away, chat programs make it possible to talk to a person on the other side of the world instantly, certain websites allow individuals to keep in touch with whole networks of people. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

With so many people enjoying the uses of the Internet on a daily basis, it's not surprising that individuals have had to create an online personality. This may differ for every individual. The shadows and anonymity of the World Wide Web creates an almost intimate environment, an illusion of privacy. An individual has the freedom of choice to choose what they want to do, what they want to say, be whoever they wish to be.

Some retain themselves.
Others don't.

I join the ranks of the many online, daily users of the Internet. E-mail is my friend. My MSN is constantly on. I have accounts on Networking websites like Friendster and MySpace. I've made use of all these services to keep in touch with people I know.

The latest trends seem to be networking websites such as Friendster, and MySpace, which I find particularly useful conceptually. I enjoy looking through the profiles of old friends, getting updated on their latest photos and latest going ons through the occasional post on the bulletin board. I've even been contacted by old friends, friends who date all the way back to primary school, whom I am delighted to get in touch with once again.

Lately, as I occasionally do, I clicked through the many profiles on MySpace, randomly flitting from one person to another. As I shifted through profiles of randoms, I saw a disconcerting shift in the photos displayed on public profile. The profiles I looked through seemed more suited on a pornography, adult matchmaking website rather than the wholesome, useful tool of communication that I envisioned.

Women, all beautiful in their own way, displaying their bodies on a network which was easily accessible to chlidren old enough to use the computer. It made me wonder. True, there was the anonymity of the Internet, the freedom of experimentation, but what was the point? Images that I can easily do without, the wanton images of naked flesh, more explicit than tasteful.

It made me wonder about the choices these women were making. Did they need the lustful comments of other individuals to bolster their insecurities? Did they have a point to prove - to display the beauty of their bodies on the realms of cyberspace for the world to see?

More so were the individuals who put up pictures of themselves flagrante derelicto with their partners. What was the point? The secret desire of voyeurism? Did they get off by imagining their images fuelled the lust of others? Did they just want to prove that they were having a healthy sex life?

The one issue that angered me the most were the profiles that put up such pictures, and yet, still boldly admitted to being individuals of faith. Muslims. Christians. Whatever. I'm definite on the fact that religion frowns upon the degree of wantonness displayed for the world to see. It's not up to me to judge on how people choose to act. However, it becomes somewhat personal when a Muslim publicly chooses to flaunt the rules of religion.

It confuses me that individuals can turn the most innocent of things, meant for public use, into something else. It seems to me that this is a sign of the degradation of the moral and religious values of our society. It makes me sad to think of these women, who seem to think it's alright to flaunt their bodies publicly. It makes me wonder if they respect themselves at all.

Women are all beautiful in our own way. You don't have to spread your legs to prove it.
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