Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Online Thoughts

Lately I've not been myself online or in my real life. The fact is I'm very disturbed by events that are unfolding due to my bad decisions regarding who I trust online. It's been almost a year since I first began to actively use social media. I made my Facebook & twitter accounts on April 16, 2009, but rarely used them until last Spring. The very first person I met on twitter would teach me many lessons about the value of online privacy.

Never send out pictures of yourself to anyone. I fell for lines like, "I bet you're not even a girl, you're a dude on a troll account," & "I just get curious about what the people I talk to all day look like." They may seem to be the nicest or most interesting person you've met, but trust me, people online are 99.9% of the time not what they seem to be. It's so easy to be whoever you want to be behind a screen name & very few people are satisfied to be themselves. You cannot trust them.

Avoid telling your exact location if possible. A little bit of privacy goes a long way. Most of us live fairly public lives, but your information is out there for people to find. It really isn't that hard to do. If you'd like to see how easy it is, start searching yourself sometime. My guess is you'll be shocked by what you find & how easily you find it.

The best advice I can give is don't get too close with anyone you meet on the internet. Trust your first instincts about people, they're usually right. No need to be desperate for internet friends because there is an abundance to choose from. The beautiful thing online is that you can reach the world.