Ah yes, the digital age, the era of the Internet, a time where Facebook trumps the real world in social communication and not having an email address means you might as well live on a deserted island in the middle of no where. ‘Real’ life and virtual life are so intertwined these days that whether or not a place has wifi can mean the difference between success or failure as a business.
Despite the growing importance of the online world in our lives though, there are still some things it’s probably a good idea NOT to do online. Things like:
1) Giving out personal info
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, apparently it still needs to be said that giving out personal information online is never a good idea. Ever.
2) Over sharing
The normal-looking-but-secretly-insane twin to the above not-giving-out-personal-info rule, over sharing is usually where we slip up. We’ll steadfastly refuse to give out names and phone numbers on public forums and be really proud of ourselves for ‘staying safe’, but the next minute we’ll be ‘checking in’ on Facebook and giving out our exact location to a bunch of people we barely know. Something tells me that might not be the wisest of things to do. Not to mention the hundreds of photographs we insist on posting online on a regular basis. Seriously guys, I think this one might come back and bite us in the ass one day..
3) Reading the comments
I think there’s an unspoken rule that the longer the comment section on a popular website, the crazier, more rude and more racist/xenophobic/sexist the comments will become. I’m sure there’s exceptions to this ‘rule’, there are exceptions to everything after all, but in general I think it’s safe to say that if you enjoy websites like YouTube, 9GAG, Cracked, etc. then don’t read the comments section, not if you want to retain your faith in humanity that is.
4) Looking up sickness symptoms
Unless you like giving yourself panic attacks or random bouts of middle-of-the-night stress, I’d highly recommend NOT looking up symptoms online. No matter how mild sounding your symptom may be, the Internet will offer up anything and everything it could be, and trust me, there are some horrible diseases out there that you really don’t want to imagine having. So yes, next time you get a weird rash, call a doctor before you convince yourself you have an incurable disease that will kill you within the week.
The Internet, in a lot of ways, is meant for complaining. It’s where you blow off steam, work out internal conflict and talk to strangers who might be going through the exact same things as you. It’s therapeutic and that’s a fact.
On the other hand, if you want to complain about your family/boyfriend/boss and don’t want it to get back to them, it’s better to use the old fashioned sort of therapy where the therapist is obliged to keep your secrets. Trust me, nothing stays hidden on the Internet, not for long at least. So if you don’t want them to find it, don’t put it online in the first place.
Do you agree with the above? Got anything else to add to the list? 🙂