The Telegraph’s technology headlines on Monday morning were as follows:
Digital natives: how to keep teenagers safe online
TV could be next target for cyber hackers, says anti-virus chief
A little further down the list…
Convicted conman using LinkedIn to pursue new scams
And, possibly my favourite of the bunch…
Born to troll: Is risky online behaviour in our DNA?
Couple this with the increase in people treating Facebook like some sort of quick-stop for therapy sessions and I really have had enough of reading about advancements in technology, particularly given that it seems to be turning into just another method for humanity to balls things up.
How to keep teenagers safe online? I’ll save you the hassle of reading this article and paraphrase it for any young and impressionable teenagers that might be reading this blog post: You need to check your privacy settings on Facebook because potential employers tend to worry about hiring people who are drinking yards of beer in their pictures. That’s the beginning and end of it. Okay, tutors and potential employers are now much more likely to check out your so-called ‘digital footprint’, but if the stuff that they’re going to find is ultimately going to be detrimental to your future as a student, or in whatever job role you’re applying for, then maybe you need to change your behaviour rather than your security settings.
Also, when did the internet become a place for emotional tantrums and hurt feelings? It’s Facebook, not a counsellor. People are on there to share pictures of booze-riddled nights out and graduation gowns and, I don’t know, whatever other monumental experiences people want to share with people that they haven’t seen in the past ten years, but for whatever reason still feel the need to impress them - but that’s an altogether separate blog post, so I’ll hold that in for now. If there is one thing I truly hate about the growing world of social media, it’s this:
Omg cnt belive ths iz happnin - feeling sad.
Comment 1: whatz up bbe
Person who wrote the status: inbox me yh? I dnt wnna tlk abt it ere
Oh, you have a problem that you don’t want to talk about publicly, but you wouldn’t mind having a chat to a close friend about it, to see if they can make you feel better about whatever is making you sad? That’s cool. I get that. SO DON’T WRITE A STATUS ABOUT IT! If you don’t want to talk about something, then don’t talk about it. That’s kind of how it works. In real life, away from your iPhone or laptop or whatever else you can use to update a status these days, you wouldn’t walk up to someone and say this:
‘You know, I’ve had some really bad news today, it’s made me really sad, but I don’t want to talk about it.’
NEWSFLASH: That’s not how a conversation works!
Also, for those internet-users who are guilty of this, I don’t care what you had for dinner, or how long it took to make its way through your digestive system. Lovely as it is for you to upload a picture of your roast dinner complete with onion rings - honestly, what is the matter with you? - if you could not clog my newsfeed up with that sort of thing, then that would be absolutely cracking.
Reading back over this, I can see that the rant seems to have swerved away from the internet generally and made its way over to the social media side of things. With that in mind, it’s probably a good place to add that I actually like social media - I’m an avid-user of Twitter, an occasional-user of Facebook and a daily-user of Instagram; I’m afraid I’m not really technology savvy enough to understand much beyond those three, although I am frequently assured that there are many more sites that I could be a part of, if I had the inclination.
So, to conclude, if you’re young and find yourself frequently using the internet, and you also happen to be applying for a new job or maybe even university, make sure that your privacy settings are as tight as they can be, oh, and make sure that you aren’t getting pissed in your profile picture. And, irrespective of your age, if you’re having a hard time and you feel like you might need to talk to someone about things, then make a phone call to a friend rather than a Facebook status to 1, 378 people who don’t actually remember where they met you.