I’m a bit uneasy about the amount of information available online. There’s something to be found on just about anyone, and it can be accessed by nearly everyone. Social networking is great fun, but there are three things to keep in mind –
One – Post as though your words were going to be printed in words a foot high and stuck on your front door. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want your next-door-neighbour to read – in case they do. They probably will.
Two – It’s safest to assume that, like diamonds, online words are forever. Yes, some information has been made to vanish from the net like snow in summer, but that was only because some very big players were involved. Even if your tweet, text or mail can be erased, the saying that a lie can be round the world seven times before the truth is out of bed is as true today as it’s always been. Libel is serious – and expensive.
Three – Not so much a warning as a reminder – if things get too heavy, you can always step away from the computer. Cyber bullying is an ugly concept. It’s a nightmare once you’ve been drawn in, so try and stay well away. At the first sign of trouble, remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said: no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, so do the internet equivalent of picking up your ball, and taking it home.