Can you see me now?

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After reading the prompts for this section, and going through the articles I immediately knew what I wanted to write about. Back in middle school, my brother and I both received our own laptops as a graduation present. Little me, felt like the coolest person in the world. The internet was at my finger tips! I didn’t have to share a computer with ANYONE anymore. SO MUCH POWER!!!! What no one explains to middle school children is how to protect yourself on the internet. Basically, they rely on you to use your common sense, and hope that your innocence will shield you. At least, that’s what was hoped for me.

Fast forward a year into having my first computer (that at the time I primarily used for school, neopets, and to watch DVD’s), my friend group got into a craze over IMVU. This platform allows you to create an avatar, and go into different chat groups, connecting you with people from all over on certain pages, as well as having the option to connect with just your friends. At first, this was a great thing. I could see my friends at school during the day, chat with them at night. We’d log into the same groups when connecting with people we didn’t know. Everything was fine…until it wasn’t.

One day I logged into a chat group with people I didn’t know, and someone started talking to me (for the sake of this story, let’s call them Bill). I didn’t think much of it, they seemed friendly enough. We wound up talking regularly when I’d sign in. One day, I had spent the entire day online talking to Bill, and the next thing I knew I was receiving a friend request on facebook. I froze when I saw the name Bill, but didn’t think anything of it. I did not accept the request, but continued to talk to Bill on IMVU. Suddenly, they started asking me why I hadn’t accepted their friend request. I countered with how did they find my account in the first place, I never told them my last name or any location information. My stomach churned. Two hours later, I was crying to my Mom as he started to threaten me and my family because I did not accept his request and had stopped talking to him. My Mom took over from there, immediately reporting him, deleting my IMVU account, and disabling my facebook.

The dark side of the internet is scary. However it comes to us all in different ways. Regardless though, I think that because technology has become such a regular thing in our lives, we need to teach those that are now growing with it how to protect themselves. It’s important that we don’t just use smart technology, but are smart with our technology.

 

 

The Better Man Project

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For anyone in my life, if they are in a rough spot, they know I have about 5 quotes up my sleeve to give them without batting an eyelash. Being in recovery myself, I know it’s important to surround myself with as many positive influences as possible. While my instagram feed is populated with musicians, friends, as well as various charities, I also follow a number of life coaches. I stumbled on Evan Sanders account about a year ago, and I haven’t turned back since.

The picture above is a quote that he posted recently that resonated with me. Writing like this is interesting to me because it can apply to a person at any stage in their life. Whether in a good or bad place, you can usually gauge how you got there, or where you want to go. It’s so easy to get caught up in a moment where all you want to do is close yourself, because it’s easier to just shut down than to face the current situation at hand. This to me says that while you can shut down in those instances, you can also choose to prepare to rise out of them, and go towards the future that is meant for you.

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I’ve been following @sosadtoday on twitter for the past three years. I’ve always seen her tweets as an over exaggerated version of what I was feeling. Not good, not bad, just there. Delving deeper into her topics though (especially on the vice) I began to see more of a value to her writing. Personally, I’m extremely passionate about mental health topics, so her posts about anxiety, growth, and pressure all hit home for me. From my perspective, the online voice she’s cultivating is one that isn’t afraid. I think it’s important that people with her level of voice should use it to decrease the stigma of talking about their feelings, in order to further open it up for others. This only gets better upon losing anonymity, as this gives the opportunity for a platform to be formally built.

Broder carefully crafts this personality of hide and seek to a point especially on her twitter in my opinion. Her tweets sometimes seem contradictory, but I feel this makes them relatable to a degree. Often the emotions being expressed are those that we find twisted, or are too afraid to wear our heart on our sleeves for. Going into the third question, I think that the writing exhibited is definitely not a form of narcissism, and acts as a vehicle to encourage people to be open about their raw emotions.

 

 

 

 

Fake News, Real Consequences

http://politicot.com/mike-pence-allowing-rape-victims-abortions-will-lead-women-trying-get-raped/

 

Looking at the title of the article, you can already imagine the kind of havoc that exploded in my head the second I read it. Lucky for me, I had just read our fake news assignment materials and was curious, clicked, lo and behold…click bait. What I will give to this site is the fact that it allows you to choose whether you want the factual information highlighted for you or not.

This article does have some strong points that would lead you to believe it to be real. For one, the entire first paragraph is true. As Governor of Indiana he has signed the most abortion restrictive regulations. In the following paragraph, it tries to quote an interview that he gave to the Huffington Post, a seemingly smart move to appear credible. However, if you go on Huffington Post’s website you will not find any new articles in the time frame of this article. Those posted do talk about this speech at the March for Life, however none repeat anything that was quoted in the article.

I think the big question I have for the world, is what is the real appeal behind fake news? How is promoting lies so much better than being a well-informed citizen? Is it worth creating divisiveness, rather than just telling the truth so people can argue from fact?