Tag Archives: Catfish

Balancing Social Media: Dangers and How to Stay Safe

Social Media can be both glorious and dangerous. Social media can lead to great connection, but it can also lead to unsafe situations or peril.

University of the Pacific has a safety section on their website, and one page is about social media safety and concerns. With the current dangers involving social media going on, I would like to share them.


  • Identity Theft
  • Catfishing
  • Employers can see inappropriate content leading to termination
  • School leaders determining expelling.


How to Stay Safe

  • Don’t publicly post private information
  • Adjust privacy settings for specific posts
  • Be wary of who is following you before you post

Social Media can cause identity problems. People can pretend to be you, or pretend to be someone else to use your information or emotions. We need to make the right connections and be safe while doing so. Also, everyone must be careful about how they share. Opportunities can be squashed if an employer, professor, dean, or principal sees the “wrong” things. Be wise about social media.


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Technology brings opportunities- Always a good thing?

In Sherry’s Turkel’s  very interesting article”Who am We”, I found the most startling idea to be MUD’s. I’m a technological native and I never even knew such a thing existed. I played a lot of online games when I was a kid but I never really thought about it quite as deeply as the author of this article-who knew that I was actually participating in a worldwide communication revolution? Here I just thought I was having a blast playing a game! Games like WoW (World of Warcraft) and other mmorpg’s, (Massive multi-player online role playing games), in which millions of people around the world play and communicate together kind of remind me of the MUD’s…except, of course, they are not focused on sex and relationships.

I find the type of communication mention in the MUD’s to be quite creepy, if I’m being honest. Not that I want to sound judgmental, but I often question the direction technology is taking us. The fact that the computer can make people virtually faceless is pretty scary. I know a lot of people in MMorpg’s “virtually-cross dress” as many users did in the MUD. I’m not really sure what this signifies about our culture, but I think that the internet definitely affords people the opportunity to become someone else. I think that this is a deep seated desire in human nature and technology is making it easier and easier to achieve this. Another great thing (or not so great) about technology is that there is little to no repercussions. The married man in the article used the MUD’s to virtually have intercourse with other women. I’m not sure where the ethics lie in this issue.Again, though, I hate to sound judgmental. If both partners are fine with it in the marriage, I guess it’s not my, problem is it?  Regardless, new technology is definitely allowing us new opportunities-whether these are always good, as in the case of MUD”s, is up for debate. Take a look at Sherry Turkel’s article for yourself (hyper-linked at the top)  and-see what you think about this.  Maybe I’m just being old fashioned.

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Hidden Behind the Screen

Sydney Weisser

Julian Dibbell’s article, “A Rape in Cyberspace” was very interesting. After reading the title, I was immediately curious as to how such a “rape” could play out. I learned that this specific act occurred on an online virtual community called LambdaMOO. A community like this provides people with the opportunity to make them into whoever they wants to be. They can design the way that they look and act, and can also control what they say and where they are.

Automatically, I see an issue with this. People nowadays are so addicted to technology, and mostly the Internet. Some use cyberspace as an outlet. If someone does not like who they are as an individual, they can hide behind the computer screen and pretend to be someone that they aren’t. The MTV television show “Catfish” reminds me of this. This show follows individuals who have gone through an online relationship, and have reason to believe that the person they have been dating is not who they claim to be. Most of the time, that is exactly the case. People have the confidence to hide behind their computer and do anything that they want. When it comes to showing their true colors, they are ashamed. In an article titled “Hiding Behind the Screen,” the author states that “one can enter and leave relationships conducted solely via the screen without any embarrassment, remaining anonymous or operating under a pseudonym, hiding behind an avatar or a false photograph of oneself” (Scruton). This gives people the confidence to do anything that they desire by remaining anonymous.

The article connects directly to this. An online persona named “Mr. Bungle,” virtually rapes many other online users of the community LambdaMOO. My first thought was “how is this possible?” Turns out this character created a “voodoo doll” program, in which he was able to control the actions of other characters online. He used this program to force other characters to perform sexual acts on him, as well as themselves and others.

Regardless of the fact that this didn’t actually occur physically to these individuals, they can still be mentally affected. The trauma that came about from these actions caused a stir in the virtual world of LambdaMOO. The main issue was whether the individual behind the character of “Mr. Bungle” could be reprimanded outside of the virtual world. The final decision was made to terminate his account.

To me, it is so interesting to see that some things go on online and we aren’t aware of them. Many disturbing things occur through cyberspace, and many don’t have any clue. This seems to be the problem with the usage of computers. They make people feel empowered and able to do anything that they want. By being able to create their own persona, they can be whoever they want to be, and nobody would ever have to find out who they truly are. Because of this, people feel that it is okay for things like the incident in this article to occur. That is where people are wrong.

Hiding identities makes it so much simpler for terrible behavior to occur. Cyberbullying, for example, has become such a problem with children and teenagers. The younger generation is being brought up in this technological age. They are being raised through the age of computers. From such a young age they are gaining that ability to hide behind a computer, and using it for evil. Anyone is brave enough to say something behind the scenes, but when it comes to speaking up face-to-face, we are all terrified.

The age of computers has effected our communication so much in the long run. People are losing that skill of communication that is so important to have in the real world. We all need that ability to be able to talk to people face-to-face about our feelings. Through technology, we are very slowly being waned off of that and can now easily communicate and shield our faces from the real world.

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