I used to be one of those few people who stood back while the tides of internet addiction changed and tried to avoid being caught up in the wave of new possibilities. Because I was afraid of it, mostly. You hear these horrible stories of people who gave away too much information and now handfuls of them worldwide are as afraid of what the web can do. But I’m slowly adjusting.
See I have a whole head full of opinions and the main draw-card of getting myself online was the amazing platform it gave my words. I know, I know, that’s gotta be a classic symptom of my generation, right? Wanted to feel like other people agree. And it is, but I’m still burdened by the fear of repercussions, something many of my set cannot understand.
It took me 18 years to finally feel like the internet was about as safe as I chose to make it. The anonymity experienced by previous generations just isn’t an option for those of us who want any kind of life by today’s standards. I couldn’t be doing my university course without being signed up and giving away private details to at least a dozen different websites and god only knows what they do with that information. But it’s a risk I just have to take.
Being careful online, knowing your security settings, your options regarding what info you give away; it’s common sense but it’s also a bit of an art form. And once you master it, I think it is entirely possible to be secure in your online persona, to know that the identity you have created can be a reflection of yourself, and not necessarily an accurate or complete one.
It might be the artistic side of my brain talking, but I fully believe that it’s possible to be you but not YOU online.
I figured that out about the same time I started downloading applications that asked for access to everything in my device- and I gave it to them. Not because I trust what they might do, but because the me they have access to is one I have designed for just such a purpose. And she is smart, strong and resilient. She doesn’t take anything online without a big, fat, dry-as-hell grain of salt.
Stay safe, stay you. xx