“You can’t make me!” – Consent on the Internet

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The Internet really is an amazing thing. Spawning the creations of millions of communities, interconnecting people in different places. Allowing them to share ideas like never before. It really is amazing. But what happens when the Internet invades our lives. When “going to raid” comes before studying for that test tomorrow. What happens when we forget how to prioritize?

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It certainly is nice that you were able to keep that dream up all night. To raid every Friday at 10 p.m. To chat with your friend every day no-matter what. But sometimes enough is enough. Getting caught up with online appointments can be a burden and, affect your life in the real world.

There is, of course, a simple solution to this problem. And I’ve coined a simple phrase to explain it. “Real world before Online.” Or “RL B4 OL”

What does it mean? It means that things you have to do in real life should ALWAYS come before online. Studying for that test comes before that raid. People probably hate me for it- as I may disappear for weeks at a time; but If I have stuff I need to do don’t count on me being on much. That’s just how it is.

It doesn’t end here; of course. There is also the idea of someone wanting you to do something online. I hear all the time “They made me do it.” When that’s the most ridiculous thing ever. Congratulations, my friend. You’ve been socially engineered!

It’s happened to everyone at least once. No one even has to physically be there to do it to you. Know those annoying chain letters that say “If you don’t pass this on to 10 friends you’ll be alone forever!”? Giving in to those demands means you’ve been tricked. Logic would tell you that a silly chain letter won’t affect a thing about your love life. Yet the Internet can seem like a mystical thing- so we give in. “Just in case.”

That’s exactly what they want you to do, and thus you have been successfully socially engineered. Who knows what you really just did? Did you just spread a nasty virus to your friends? Or simply another stupid chain letter that wastes about 5 minutes of your life.

People forget that they have incredible power over themselves. That on the internet they can only be manipulated if they let themselves be. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER; AND THERES NOTHING ANYONE ON THE INETRNET CAN DO ABOUT THAT!

You can only let things happen if you want them to. People need to remember to stop for a moment and go “Hey. I don’t like where this is going.” And do something about it. If you don’t do anything, then that is your choice.

I may seem pretty harsh- and in fact it’s simply that people are too trusting on the internet. “I’m ok because, I’m on this side of the screen!” But if you are engineered in a way that- you give out your personal information… well. The damage has already been done.

Remember! You decide — Do you want to be socially engineered today?