Five Ways to Screw Up Your Life with the Internet
Ever had someone notice that you were posting on your blog during work hours and report you to your boss? I have. It nearly got me fired. Ever known someone who was fired for even having a blog? There is someone talking about that on my Facebook page on the same day I am writing this column.
That actually happens more than you might think. The Internet's full of small, vindictive, unbalanced, and ugly people who don't have the slightest qualms about using any and every tactic imaginable to go after people who irritate them. Does that include calling your boss? Yes, indeed. Could it include calling your boss and making up stories about you? That's happened to multiple people that I know and it's why I'd recommend that if possible, you should avoid sharing where you work with everyone on the Internet.
3) Put too much trust in people you don't know.
I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in real life that I first met on the net. The good news is that most of them were the same in person as they were on the Internet. However, that's not always the case. Once, for example, I knew a "woman" whom I talked to occasionally for months. Later, I found out "she" is a guy. I never entirely understood the point of the deception. Another time, a friend of mine was considering moving to spend time with a guy she had a romantic connection with on the Internet. Then, she found out he had a heavy drug habit. Just last week, on my blog, I found out that one of my bloggers is a 4-person collective. And that's not even getting into scary crazyland, which is inhabited by people like the Craigslist Killer. The point is, it's very easy to hide a lot of truth about yourself on the Internet. You post what you want people to see, you project the image you want, and it's very difficult for people to check behind you. Just remember that -- before you make any big decisions that you could later come to regret.