Being responsible online

BLOG: Recently, a man in Rome created a fake Facebook identity as a pilot, complete with photographs of him posing in uniform and sunglasses in front of airplanes. He even had fake flight attendant friends.

Last week he was arrested.

You see the problem is, he did not stop at creating a fake profile. By the time he was arrested, he had travelled for free on at least one flight as a 'third pilot' sitting in the cockpit. 

With not many regulations and rules online, people sometimes tend to pretend to be who they are not. Everyone does it. Yes you have too! Aren't you friends with at least one person you don't really know that well? Haven't you at some time retweeted or liked some tweet, post or photograph that you don't really care about? How do I know? Because that is how humans function. We are easily influenced. It's not always a bad thing; advertising companies depend greatly on this human characteristic. But imagine a world where this was not controlled. Imagine anyone could pretend to be whoever they want to be. What would the world be like then? Thank God for the law, enforcement agencies and most importantly each other. Family who keep an eye out for us, friends who make sure we are stupid and crazy but within limits or the friendly neighbour who lets you know when there is a suspicious car parked out in front of your house when you are away on a holiday maybe?, we all have someone or the other watching over us in our everyday world.

But what about our online world?  Who is watching over you? With every limited enforced rules and regulations, I believe it is our responsibility to watch over ourselves and each other. Be responsible for the content you post online and the people you are linked to online. 

How do we be responsible online? Well, to begin with, we should follow guidelines put forward by the social media platforms we use. For example, I know it's cute to have a FB profile for your 1 month old, but Facebook has an age limit of 13 years. Otherwise you are contributing to creating a generation of 6-7 year olds who like you have their entire life posted on the internet. Imagine the type of problems that could lead to. Also, watch what you post. Do not post compromising photographs or content about yourself (or others) online. You are recording your life online and displaying it to the whole world. Try to keep those memories real and safe.  I could go on about this topic forever, but before I go over my word limit, I would also like to stress on the importance of being careful about the information, content or posts of others that you acknowledge online. You are responsible for your online world, encourage good behaviour amongst your family, friends and followers!

Find me on Twitter at @angeldirect.

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