The Five Worst Ways to Screw Up Your Life with the Internet
As we’re learning the internet is forever. Things that you did, said or videoed can show up to haunt you years later. Some nasty tweet you posted and then deleted 5 years ago can be brought back up today and used against you in many ways. The best way to prevent your past coming back to hurt you in the present is to make sure you are cautious every time you use the internet just as you would be driving a car or using a weapon.
1. Drunk Posting
Never, ever, ever post anything when you’re drunk or stoned. Just don’t do it. In fact just stay off the computer all together if you can’t trust yourself not to post something. People lose their inhibitions when they are drunk. They also forget how to spell, stop themselves from saying stupid things and just plain have no sane judgement. If you’re sort of person who has to be reminded of what you said or did when you were drunk do you really think you want to look at your social media pages the day after you drunk posted? You don’t have to be a celebrity or famous person for a past post to come back and ruin your current career.
2. Words matter
When you see an article or story that interests you for whatever reason and after reading that article you can post a reply or comment please think about your words. Use intelligent, articulate and educated words that give your post a well thought out, eloquent feel. Why do this? Because words matter and if you go off half-cocked using foul or mean language that post can be used against you by someone else at a later date. Trolls exist to harass and degrade people on the internet and they love nothing more than to look you up, find your employer, friends and family members and then share your “hateful” posts with them. No one wants to come into work the day after a troll has decided to make you a target and find out that you’ve been let go because your employer has been harassed for your posts.
3. The Catfish
By now almost all of us have learned about catfishing. There are many different kinds of catfish scams and none of them are good. Some catfish just want to talk to someone and lure them into a ‘relationship’ with a person who does not even exist only to rip the carpet out from under them by having a friend tell them that they’ve died just to see you go through the pain so they can feel important and loved. Other catfish are even more dangerous and can cost people serious amounts of money. When you decide to put your entire life out there on a dating site to meet someone and they use that information to sucker you into a fake relationship with the intention of milking you for as much money as they can. Most of these catfish are located across the world and doing this to dozens of people at a time. We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that can bring you to the point of losing everything you own. Your first rule of thumb here should be to make sure you’re dealing with a real person through actual facetime type communications and never, ever, ever give anyone a dime of your hard earned money no matter how sad and pathetic their story is….just don’t do it!
4. Revenge Porn
Yes, that’s a real thing and it can happen to anyone who decided to send nudes and/or x-rated videos to their significant other or friends. Once you decided to send those pics or videos to someone out there on the internet you’ve made a decision that not only will last the rest of your lifetime but can be used against you if you ever make the mistake of making that person angry. Some of the scariest stories detail how men have actually filmed women without them knowing just to do this at a later date. So not only do you have to be careful of what you send to others you also have to be careful of whom you allow into your life, your home and, um, well, your bedroom. No one wants their employer, family members, children, church members or neighbors to see them like that so be smart folks.
5. Love the One You’re With
If you’re in a relationship then stay away from communicating with other people on a regular basis because it feels good. Seriously! What you think is nothing more than harmless flirting can lead to something that can destroy your marriage, your family and your children’s future. I’ve always had this rule of thumb for talking to old friends or new ones and it’s “if I wouldn’t say this or send this with my husband watching over my shoulder then I won’t do it even though he’s not watching me right now”. It works. But, it also works when reading those incoming posts, texts and messages too….If you know that other person’s significant other wouldn’t want them send that or say that to you then you should probably remind them of that in your next message back to them and if need be it’s probably best to just stop contacting them all together. There is no one out there worth ruining what you’ve spent years building just because you have the need to hear something nice.