Friday, May 27, 2011

Some Thoughts About the Dangers of the Internet

Some excerpts from a blog by a student at Virginia Tech. Insightful and thoughtful. Our comments are in dark blue:


On How the Internet Scares Me So Much I Might Never Want To Use It Ever Again

Do you feel empowered by the internet?
Discuss in relation to the recent federal election in USA.

If you have yet to read my paper on social networking site, Facebook, and the dangers associating yourself with it then that ought to answer the question, along with the title of this blog entry. I felt so naive researching for my paper. How could I have thought that just because my "privacy settings" were up, that I would be protected from people? I even was unaware that my own profile was allowing data to be accessed without my permission.

Two years ago, I was being stalked on and offline by a boy I'd met through a mutual friend. We went out a few times and it didn't work out. He harassed me, he called me all the time, left messages on AIM and my phone. Even when I said I didn't want anything to do with him, he'd go away a couple days then come back to tell me that if I didn't want to "be" with him, he would make me very sorry. Mentioning shootings on campus (before April 16, 2007) such as "standing on the drill field and picking people off" and cause harm to me and those I loved. My roommates, friends and my dog who hated him (for good reason; I've never seen my puppy bite someone before him). I felt stuck. I was trapped, as long as I made a little contact. Even if it was "I hate you, leave me alone" bi-weekly, he would make less threats.

How do you reject someone who creeps you out so bad? I was scared to sleep at night, I was scared to I avoided dining halls, I was fearful leaving my puppy at home thinking I might come back to some murder scene. I felt insane thinking that this one person might do something on-campus. Things like that just didn't happen. Right?

I went to the Women's Center to ask them what I might do and they helped me file a cyberstalking and stalking report. I felt ashamed to be putting this horrible label to someone who I thought was clearly ill.

When it was brought up to the school in November of 2006, the school dismissed it saying he was "not responsible". They felt even with hard copies of evidence provided with text messages, emails and instant messages; that cyberstalking wasn't likely.

I had already filed a report with Virginia Tech police, and thus Blacksburg Police, so the trial was set for April 2007. A week after April 16th. (GOOD FOR HER! Don't let police blow you off!)

He was found guilty. Only after a real live case blew up to something no one imagined could spawn from cyberstalking and a mentally ill derangement about our own campus, did this sort of crime seem "real" in Southwest Virginia. I am still waiting for a 2009 hearing to see if he will go to jail or not.

Cyberstalking is real.

Facebook, myspace, blogger are giving away your personal information. Your credit cards, if you used [them]. Your addresses you put on your profile, your phone numbers, your dog's name, your favorite ice cream flavor. Your face.

I got off track, but I wanted to show how it starts online. I feel frustrated and worried in this way.

I also feel that being online is wonderful in other ways though.The Internet is a wonderful form of media, it is also not in the same way. There are millions of users, millions and billions of writings, more facts and figures that you could think about and anything you want to learn about, you can find online. It's great to have that sort of power at your fingertips. Things that I never would have known about, I can learn online.


I guess like anything, you have people who abuse the power and people who embrace it in a good way.

We all can cause harm to others using the Internet, there are ways to inject evil towards others with a short little Google search we could steal identities, stalk and threat, invade privacy and treat people like dirt.

It comes down to ethics and morals; if you're gonna believe everything you read or see or hear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ya it's true.So only we will be saying never to meet strangers in real life. Not to respond to the messages too.

Archana Shekar
online safety advisor-www.8falcons.com