The internet scares the shit out of me.
I use it every day whether it’s for work or just boredom. I am always tinkering away Googling the crap out of everything and nothing and spreading myself across various social media sites. If anything, I consent wholeheartedly to the terrifying world of the inter-web. I buy it a drink, I dance provocatively with it and then French kiss it at the end of the night… and I have no real desire to stop. I am an internet slut.
I was at dinner with friends last week (because that’s what old people do now!) and one topic of conversation was how grateful we are that we didn't grow up in the age of the internet. We grew up in the 80s and 90s and had some of our finest dickheady moments before digital cameras and social media. YES I’m the kind of old where you had to rewind your video tapes before giving them back to the video shop. I’m the kind of old where you remembered all your mates phone numbers out of necessity when you called them from your parent’s landline. AND I’m the kind of old where looking like this was considered cool as feck!
Basically I grew up in a time where my crazy moments of interesting/intoxicated nights out and girly holidays at the age of 17 were only documented in hard copy photos. Photographs where you had to wait 3 days to get developed at SupaSnaps on the high street because nobody could afford the express 1 day service! To have your life online now as youth growing up… sounds a lot like effort and will bite you in your arse in the future.
In the space of a week I watched two TV programs that made me want to set my laptop on fire and throw it towards oncoming traffic. Firstly a most ridiculous episode of NCIS (I have an unhealthy obsession with ‘cop dramas’ and trying to figure out ‘who done it’ before the dreamy looking American detectives) In this episode the crazed murderer was an online killer and with some insane tech and the first rule of internet club being that EVERYTHING you do online can be traced… they caught the dude. Nobody is safe online. Not even with your Norton security you were forced to buy because too much porn broke your computer! If someone wants to find out something and anything about you, they can and will.
The second TV program that made me want to excommunicate myself from the church of life AND move to a tropical island with nothing but my sweaty afro and a monkey called Clive for company… was the fab Channel 4 drama Cyberbully. If you didn’t see it then I suggest you find it and watch it… because although it may ruin your day overthinking where we went wrong with society… it’s also quite brilliant!
The general gist is thus: online bullying and ‘trolling’. Oh and how kids can be assholes.
After watching this/rocking back and forth, I asked my friend ‘did our generation ever act like evil little shits… because surely things never escalated that quickly!’ And the answer was kinda ‘yes’ and kinda ‘no’. Of course bullying has been around since forever, but it’s moved on from flushing heads down toilets to kids actually encouraging other kids to kill themselves. Like WTF!! The only real difference between then and now is that people use the internet to make you cry real tears. The guise of anonymity has given dickheads a sense of power and invincibility where they think it’s ok to mock and ridicule someone they often don’t even know. The worse thing about this is that if you confront someone over straight up online bullying, they believe it’s just ‘banter’ and you're the one with the problem because you can’t take a joke…. And we all know that banter is just a polite term used for when you’re being a giant prick.
I’m not going to pretend to know how to stop cyberbullying or how to restrict what you should and shouldn’t share online. All I know is that a potential employer a few years ago searched for my name online and found out how much I was obsessed with Glee! Just be aware that if someone wants to get to you they pretty much just need Google and you’re fecked.