Addiction - a word normally associated with drink or drugs - but can you also be addicted to social media/internet? It seems to me that some people can't get enough of it.
On one hand, I see it as a great way to express views, meet like-minded cyber-friends from all different backgrounds and from around the world - all whilst sitting in the comfort of my own home.
It's a cheap and very easy way to stay in contact with family/friends abroad and it allows lonely people the opportunity to socialise. Social media can help you stay connected to your fellow man. Not bad eh?
Want instant information at your finger-tips? Search the internet. Fancy talking to someone? Skype them or use online chat. Facebook, twitter and many other sites are great places to contact vast amounts of people very quickly. The internet is a great place to promote a worthy cause, and even get petitions up and running quickly. I love social media.
But what about the ugly, dark flip-side to it?
Do you really know who sits behind those computers, or do you even care? Many of us have avatars, provide hapless names and can become faceless people we are not. Even a photograph provides no proof that it is of you! I read that a blogger found her own family picture under someone else's name.
Also, we lose vital time at work and home spending valuable time on the internet or social networking. It's hard for people to get our attention in real life because we are so busy checking our emails (whilst we're eating dinner), texting (whilst driving - all the while condemning drink driving!), being 'poked' or poking others on sites (or am I already out of date?). I've almost broken my ankle doing long jump because my email bleeped me. We feel naked going out without our mobiles. Some of us have lost track of what is happening in the real world around us because of it.
Are we even aware that there are online predators, or do we only recognise them after we have been 'caught' in their net?
Do those people who boast about the great foreign holiday they're about to embark on, stop to think that a burglar may be reading that message? Cross-referenced with their home address, that is a recipe for robbery!
Do parents care about the amount of information they divulge with photos of their children on things like facebook without even blinking an eye? I mean, most parents wouldn't normally give this info to a stranger on the street, so why parade it on social sites? I wonder if any of that information has been used to groom children? Just a wild thought.
Every time you open a new account your are required to give details of your name, email address, gender or suchlike. Different accounts have different disclosures of personal information. Bit by bit, every personal detail about you is put on the internet for all to see, or for dubious characters to gather and hack into. How about the ones that form close personal relationships with the unsuspecting innocent ones? Many of those in such situations end up with their hearts broken, their bank balance being greatly reduced or being scammed in various ways. Well, to my shame, I've been stung too. I befriended a nut... but I'll save that for another post, because it ended well for me.
Do you spend too much time on the internet, and why?
Have you ever been scammed in some way, or even suffered a troll, what did you do about it?
Do you have any safe tips on being secure on social sites or the internet?
I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments and views.