Hello my beautiful friends!
This topic has been on the back of my head for the longest time. I grew up in the era of internet. When I was in primary school, we were exposed to the world wide web , as exciting as it used to be then, it has taken the world by storm now. It has become an everyday essential for most people in the first world country. I really miss the countryside where I didn’t get such luxury but was indirectly protected by the harm that is intertwined with it.
It is no surprise we feel safer behind a mask just like standing behind a closed door. Generally people voice out more daringly under a fake name, masking their identity so that they won’t be reprimanded for their indecency or hurtful remarks. Not to forget there are a good handful who use this platform to only spread hate, with recent act of terrorisms being the perfect example. It has become a norm to create fake IDs to express your displeasure about something or use it to your advantage to groom and lure young children into wrong doings. So many fake IDs are in circulation to scout for people who are emotionally vulnerable, making them the easier prey.
While bullying only used to exist in the schools and neighborhoods in the past, now it has crept its way onto online. How many cases has popped up, where youngsters take pictures of the classmates and edit it or make it into a meme or worse use that to blackmail. How many Instagram users have we came across for insulting someone’s choice of life? Particularly racism, body shaming or even judging about your food choice? You name it . The list of insults can be never ending. It takes no effort to write something mean, bur it may really affect the victim. If you wouldn’t like hurtful things said to you, we assume you treat others with the same level of respect.
3. Personal privacy
This is indeed a personal choice. But how can parents restrict on the amount of information their children puts up. For instance, constantly tagging the location of the place you hang out, eat, shop becomes an easy target for stalkers. This is something that really bugs and worries me big time. In my late teens , I ever had a complete stranger reaching out to me in social media saying “hey don’t you live in xx street.. I have seen you around”. These are just some instances where social media scared me off. Not understanding the severity of leaving sensitive information online and the repercussions could be the major reason why kids and sometimes adults do it. In Singapore, there have been many such scammers trying to reach out to innocent people to cheat them of their money. As much as we love the evolution of social media, perhaps we should treat it with more caution to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
4. Code of conduct
If it is something you wouldn’t say to a person face, then you should not be writing it online too. Basic code of conduct should apply even if we are living on Mars! Our picture, comments has huge audience reach. Unlike a real face to face conversation, this is going to leaves traces behind. Unlike real conversation, you have all the time in the world to think before you write. I personally do not see a reason for someone to write a hateful statement and then pinning the blame on the “spur of the moment”. Online usage is relatively new, with so many new apps popping out each day. Everyone is trying to grasp the new technology but many still remain oblivious to the mannerism that we should uphold.
Being safe and keeping a healthy online atmosphere is indeed hard work. No matter how insignificant we may feel our input maybe, it will be reciprocated. It is about time we practice what we preach and teach youngsters and adults, about the importance of social media responsibility so that we can truly experience the perks of online.
P.S: Do leave your suggestions on curbing this issue !