By Caprice Bursiaga
Our world is ruled by technology. The more our world has progressed, the more advanced technology has become. With technology comes the implement we all love and cherish – the internet. The internet can be a wonderful resource for just about everyone, especially students and working individuals, but when not used ¨appropriately¨ and/or carefully, negative situations can occur. A major use of the internet is for social media. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all examples of some current popular social media sites. These forms of communication allow followers to view pieces of other users’ lives each time they post a status, picture, or video. With that in mind, the issue of privacy surfaces. What personal information should remain confidential versus what is safe to reveal to the public? In the end, the choice is in the hands of the user – you – but users of the sites should understand how dangerous and exposing it could be for those who provide too much personal information online. In doing just that, it increases the chances of coming in contact with predators.
Predators are often strangers who pose with false identities in order to gain the trust of users in hopes that those targeted could fulfill any desire wanted by them. In the eyes of the law, predators could also be considered any ordinary individual 18 and older, whom possess any explicit photos of those younger than 18, whether in a relationship or not. An exchange as such may seem harmless in the beginning, but when in the wrong hands, or the rights hands at the wrong time, controversy can occur. Often, social media is a neat and useful outlet; it allows users everywhere to express themselves in ways they could not when present anywhere. When this outlet provided by social media is used negatively, the term bullying comes into play. Posting, commenting, or messaging inappropriate content about anyone online is considered cyberbullying. Bullying of any sort is not morally right, and could lead to conflict resulting in prosecution. Then again, any of the issues listed above, could possibly result in prosecution. Be safe online, and continue reading to discover possible solutions to the everyday, common problems previously mentioned.
What to do
By Isabel Lopez
As you can see there is a copious amount of consequences that come with the internet and technology, when not used carefully. There is a danger when it comes to almost any social media site. Below describes what to do if you ever find yourself in any of the situations listed above. Given the situation that a stranger or possibly a predator has messaged you, identify the key points to finding out if his or her intentions are true. If they are repeatedly agreeing with you, making up excuses as to why they can’t send a picture or video chat, trying to get you to send pictures or very personal information, then you should suspect that they may be an online predator. To avoid a conversation with a predator is easy; keep your accounts private, when messaged, don’t begin a conversation with someone you do not know, and do not give out important information containing your address or number. You may want to reconsider a picture or video before posting it somewhere everyone can see. If they continue to be a bother you may want to think about talking to an adult or contact authorities. Bullying is also a huge controversy with social media. If you’re a victim of cyber bullying, the best solutions are: ignore, record, reach out , and cut off the bully. You do not want to antagonize the bully by sinking to his or hers level. Keep a record of all the comments or messages you have received from the bully, it is easier to identify the bully this way. Block the bully if they continue to post rude or unnecessary comments on your account. Do not believe anything the bully says; if you’re feeling down in the dumps, talk to someone. Often users do not know that they are bullying others. If you post a comment or tell someone something that makes them feel less than you, then you are consider a bully. Before making a social media account, or posting information think about the consequences that it can lead to. Be Safe, Be Secure, Be Smart.