Ready for Safer Internet Day

Are you aware that you have an online reputation?

Whether you like it or not and even whether you constantly use the internet or not, it seems like the internet knows a lot about you and me. Take my case for instance. I tried to google my name last December and I found out things about me or related to me which I did not know were even online.

Of course, you also have your blog posts (if you are into blogging) and social media accounts. What you have written about as well as the photos and images you have posted online, they are now part of your online reputation, too. That is why no matter how upset or annoyed I am, I always try to think twice before I post anything just out from what I feel at the moment. I mean, does the world really have to know all the time if I’m having a bad day?  I’m not saying we have to paint some goody-goody picture of ourselves online but certainly, we also do not need to dish out our emotional mess online either.

I also find it incredulous (!!) how people could just re-post or re-share a Facebook or Twitter post or even an article complete with their own reactions without checking facts first! And then in turns out they got the “piece of juicy news or information” from a news satire sites or that it was just an urban legend, myth or even plain misinformation. I have seen that happen SO MANY times especially on Facebook. To keep myself safe from re-posting or re-sharing something untrue, I always try to verify things first by checking other news sources and sites. What I have found truly helpful is, a reference source to check if a story is just some urban legend or a simple case of misinformation. There is also a reference site that identifies fake/hoax and satire websites, Fake Newswatch, which I think is quite helpful.

Speaking about our online reputation and how we use the internet, thanks to Kids Email, I have been aware that Safer Internet Day 2016 will be taking place this February 9.  The event’s main goal is to “help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.” I like that. I am all for responsible use of the internet. I think we all should be or at least do what we can.

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With the availability of the internet, the truth is our lives have never been the same. There is so much that we have been able to enjoy because of it. There are two things that I appreciate the most with the internet. One is that it has helped me connect even in real time with my loved ones, friends and work contacts even from as far as the USA and Finland, with me just sitting here in front of my laptop in Mindanao, Philippines. Two, it has provided me with amazing resources which I could use for work and entertainment. For instance, I need to prepare a talk on cultural anthropology for next week and the internet has so many references, photos and even videos that I could look into.

I really do hope that we continue to move forward towards a responsible and good use of the internet. It is one of the things in our life that we really can exercise choice.

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