Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It's a Small, Small World

Photo by Leowang1995, posted in Wikipedia

When I was in fifth grade, my family went to Disneyland during Christmas break. I distinctly remember riding the boats in the "It's A Small World" attraction. The characters from around the world twirled and sang one of those songs that just gets stuck in your head:
 It's a world of laughter, a world of tears
It's a world of hopes and a world of fears
There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all ...

 I've been having the same feeling lately as random emails have arrived in my in-box. Here's one:
Hello! I saw the photo of the girl on a fence, overlooking a paddock. She wears pink, shiny, fringed chaps. My 4-year old granddaughter Charlotte is more horse-crazy than I was at that age.

I absolutely need to get a pair of those chaps for her. I've surfed thru so many sites and can't find them. Do you know from where those chaps can be purchased?

Any info you can give me will be greatly appreciated!!!

Thank you!
I thought I recognized the little girl, but the blog post about the Stafford Rodeo was from July 2010. So I did a little detective work, and yes, I had the right Stafford family. I used Facebook to message our cowgirl's mama, who just happened to still have the chaps. Long story short (or at least shorter than the 11 emails it took), the mom sold the chaps to the grandma and they were soon on their way to Duluth, Minnesota, to make another little cowgirl happy. Don't you love happy endings? I do!

CJ, the chap purchaser, lives just six blocks from Lake Superior and has four grown children, eight grandchildren and one great grandson. I'm now her Facebook friend, too.

My next out-of-the-ordinary blog reader was half a world away - Nitin, a farmer in India. He wrote:

I think your blog is awesome

I am sending some pics of my farm land with wheat and vegetable crop.

I am looking forward for association and opportunities of farming in USA and India.

Happy Farming
He sent this photo of his wheat field in India.

Also through the blog, I got an email from a University of Nebraska student, asking for help in finding people for a heat management survey in tractors and combines. I shared the survey with a Farmer's Wife group on Facebook. I hope it helped her out.

These were more unusual emails. But, through blogging, I've developed friendships with bloggers from all over the U.S. and the world, including Lynda, the Country Mum who posts a photo from their Australian farm each day at Farm-ily. There's Buttons at Buttons Thoughts from Canada and Robyn from The Ranch Wife Chronicles in South Dakota and Cheri from the scablands of Washington at My Ranch Life. Those just scratch the surface of the people who have become friends across the miles by commenting on each other's blog posts.

As I wrote last year, my photography has shown up on Facebook and sprinkled through the internet, including this May Day basket. Jill's family ended up on a K-State promotion for the Vanier Football complex.

But there can be a dark side to it, too. Besides the greetings from Minnesota and India the past month, I had an email from someone who thought one of my photos was being used by a person for nefarious purposes:
My name is Sue, and I found your blog in a very unusual way - a Google reverse image search.

Long story short - I have an acquaintance who I believe is being catphished by someone online. (Catphishing is when a person makes up an online persona with fake pictures and details in order to lure others into relationships with them.)  Because I believe this to be true, I used some of the images that the person posted as their own online and reverse image searched them on Google.

I am not saying you did anything!! I think someone found your image and used it as their own in order to keep up the ruse of their online persona - and if you could just give me some info on that photo - like if you took it yourself and when, that would help me prove to this acquaintance that somebody is using other people's stuff to trick him.

I'd like to reiterate that I don't think you are doing anything weird - I think someone used your photos, and just wanted to have some proof for my friend to help him see what's happening.
I wrote her back, telling her when and where I took the photo. I hope it helped her friend.

The internet is an amazing place. It can be used to build friendships and connections. But it can also be used in less reputable ways. I suppose that's true of life in general. It just is magnified by social media.


  1. Being on social media is good and bad. I really enjoy the farming ranch blogs. It's interesting how others farm and ranch across the country.

  2. The internet has certainly changed how we all interact, and social media has enhanced that interaction. It has made it so easy to connect with people from all over the world. I especially love the connection that fellow bloggers have, that sense of community and excitement of meeting someone new, some one that is so very similar to oneself but miles apart. They are, as one of my fellow bloggers says, the modern day pen pals!

  3. There is always going to be people exposing a dark side to good things. Yes, we love the internet and need to remember to have strict settings to protect ourselves.

    I've enjoyed the blogging side of things and have "met" some amazing people across the miles. I'm glad our ag stories and lives have grown into a friendship, Kim.

  4. It is wonderful the positives that often come from the blogging world. Unfortunately, there can be those who use it improperly. Hope the positives continue to outweigh the negatives!! Blogging is a great experience!

  5. I'm thankful for all you ladies! It's been a pleasure and privilege to connect with all of you across the miles.

  6. It is noticed that social media although have some bad impact on our society, give us chance to come closer each others in different fields like farm and ranch over the world.