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The Internet Ruined Their Lives

Neal Cotton
03.22.16
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Reality shows are the current rave in the realm of television. However, sometimes reality is a scary world because it doesn't always mean what is being portrayed is something in a good nature. As we have seen before in darker sides of the reality TV, all's well doesn't always end well. The new show The Internet Ruined My Life will give SyFy a chance to go beyond the glitz and glamour of the internet and show how things can go terribly wrong.

Do We Really Need This Type of Reality Show?

The show deals with a delicate subject matter of those who have had horrible experiences through social media posts. These people have been harassed, stalked, swatted, fired, or worse due to a social media post gone awry. The show is a bit over the top and shows some very dramatic reenactments; however, the basis is something that most people need to consider. The message is pertinent even if some parts are a bit cheesy. There is a darker side to social media and what is posted in a public forum isn't always falling on a benign market. It is a little weird to watch a show about internet activity, but the message is something that people need to hear. I know from my own experiences, social media is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil.

People Say Too Much on Social Media

One example that comes to the top of my mind is our high school principal in my local town. My boys attend private school and the principal is known and loved by many people. She posted her that her family was going on a long vacation. As she made her preparations, she documented her every move on Facebook. What she didn't realize is she created a timeline that was perfect for an in home invasion. While she was at the beach basking in the sunshine; her home was being cleared of any contents inside. When she arrived home, she realized she had lost almost everything near and dear to her. They police found out that the burglars knew her and used her Facebook posts to monitor her whereabouts. She wasn't the only break-in of that kind. The police issued a warning in the area to watch what you put on social media, as it could set you up for the perfect crime.

When The Internet Turns Into A Dangerous Place

While losing everything you own is a problem, what happened to another friend of mine is downright scary. When she posted that she "checked-in" to a local restaurant on Facebook, a friend of a friend was able to also see her posts. Depending on how your security levels are set, you could be sharing your information with people you don't even know.

As she sat alone with her computer in hand, she was enjoying a latte and some peace and quiet. An older gentleman came up to her and took the seat across from her. He remarked that he saw her post on Facebook and thought she could use some company. Though flattered, she thought it was freaky. He told her how he found out and that he had been watching her for a long time. It appears that he had a crush on her for quite a while and used his friend's page to be able to monitor some of her content. The man began stalking her, and she would often see him in the strangest of places. When she told him she didn't want him; it only got worse.

The real clincher is the police stated that he hadn't done anything wrong. They can't arrest someone for driving on a public street or being in a public place, just because someone else is there. The case ended in a restraining order because his obsession turned ugly. The cops caught him standing outside her bedroom window, and thanks to the call from a neighbor, her life was spared. The police found tape, a knife and rope in his car. She doesn't use social media of any kind anymore.

Be Careful What You Say-It Can Come Back To Haunt You

Some people are just asking for trouble. They have become obsessed with their online persona even going as far as to buy likes for their social profiles to look more popular than they really are. They thrive on attention from others and the thrill of others listening to what they have to say. Attention seekers have found a new outlet in social media, and it's one that is costing some their lives. If you are going to use the internet's social media rings, then you need to be careful what you post. There is always someone out there waiting and wanting to find someone to latch onto for all the wrong reasons.

Set your security settings high and only let select people see what you have on your pages. These harmless acts could have ended a lot worse than they did. For some people, they have lost their lives due to saying too much to a world that was more than willing to listen. If you don't want drama that is worthy of a SyFy television show, then don't put dirty laundry on social media. Back in the old days when people just picked up the phone, life was a whole lot easier.

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