Today I would like to talk about safety on the internet. I thought about writing this a few days ago and then I read Matt’s great post on In Silence We Suffer and decided that it was time to write this.
Safety is important. I think that this is something that we all know and yet when it comes to the internet, many of us seem to forget. With social media on the constant rise, I feel as if people are constantly forgetting the importance of privacy and the fact that, while it’s sad and unfortunate, many people take advantage of the fact that some individuals seem willing to disclose way too much information on the world wide web.
In a perfect world, it wouldn’t matter what we put online. People would read all about us and just find it interesting. However, that’s not how it is. There are people out there who take the information they find and use it in less than appropriate ways. That’s their fault! It’s their fault that they target people. Still though, we need to have the common sense not to post anything that can be used against us.
I’m not saying that if you post a naked picture of yourself online, that it’s okay for someone to take advantage of you. I’m not saying that you’re asking for it. Rather I am asking that you please watch what you do and what you say. Safety is important and so are you!
Perhaps you are wondering what the heck safety has to do with a blog about peace. I think it has a lot to do with it. A peaceful life is one where we can be and feel safe, as well as happy. A peaceful life is one where we’re not constantly worried about what someone can do with the information we have given them.
Ever since I was little, my parents taught me to be careful about what I did online. They made sure that I wasn’t giving out information that was too personal, going into chat rooms that could cause harm, and the like. I’m so happy that they taught me this and I think that all parents should do the same.
I find nothing wrong with sharing some things online – clearly. I think it’s fine and good to share experiences that could help others, advice that could help someone in a positive way, some of your likes and dislikes, etc. Making connections with people online who you feel you can trust is fine, but even those who you think are trustworthy can be dangerous. I’m not saying you should be paranoid, but I am saying that you should be careful.
I’ve been blogging for over two years and am proud to say that I have met some great friends. Seriously! I have met people that listen to me and who I honestly feel care a great deal. I have great conversations with these individuals, I share my thoughts, and I feel that we have an amazing bond. Even so, though, I watch what information I provide them with. Why? Because as inconvenient as it may be, I really don’t know who’s on the other side of that screen. I don’t know who’s reading what I say and to be honest, I may never know for sure.
The bottom line is this: it’s okay to make friends online and to share your experiences. It’s okay to email back and forth with someone who you feel you can trust. What is not okay, however, and what I do not recommend is that you share information that can be used against you or that can be proven harmful. Be careful and watch what you say. You can have amazing friendships online – you just have to know what to share! Thanks and be safe!