Staying safe while on the Internet

March 18th, 2010

I’ve got a responsibility to the readers of the award-winning Carroll News to inform them of things that I think they need to know about. As a journalist, I wouldn’t be doing my unpaid job if I didn’t tell you things you didn’t know. That being said, I have some troubling news.

The Internet is not safe, and for proof, you don’t need to look any further than the The CN’s own Web site and note that we make Craig Willert’s columns available for everyone to see.

But at least Craig’s columns are intended to instill fear in people (for  a bevy of reasons), there are some things on the Internet that claim to be true but are blatantly false. You probably didn’t know about it, but this is a pretty common occurrence. I thought I’d inform the JCU community on what to beware of when using the Internet.

First up: song lyrics. Don’t look them up online, they’re wrong. I feel completely comfortable making a blanket statement like that because the percentage of incorrect song lyrics on the internet is that high.

I blame the fact that rap music got popular and little kids (or college-educated people that can’t relate to or understand the concepts, but listen to it because it’s popular) try and upload the lyrics to the songs. Searching for lyrics online is like using Wikipedia to write your master’s thesis. It starts out great until that blatantly false line. Something like “If Jesus’ payin’ LeBron, I’m payin Dwyane Wade.” It’s not “Jesus,” it’s “Jeezy” people.

Next thing to beware of: advertisements. I’m usually pretty good about ignoring ads online, but sometimes they catch my eye, and “holy grappling hook Batman!” is there some inappropriate content available on the Internet.

You don’t need to go anywhere dirtier than Facebook to find some sickening stuff. Let me preface this statement by saying I’m not opposed to cleavage, as a matter of fact I’m a big supporter of it (kinda like a wonderbra). So those ads that say “looking for a girlfriend?” don’t personally bother me all that much, but there are little kids on Facebook now so I think it might need to clean itself up a little.

It’s weird enough that I get friend requests from the 12-year-olds I know, I don’t need to be sitting there wondering if they’re making fan pages more inappropriate than “Being Justin Bieber’s future wife.”

Speaking of Facebook, not only are the younglings on there, but adults joined the party too … and it’s awkward. Parents, aunts, uncles, professors, employers and the guy who taught my driving class all have Facebook now. Becoming friends with them is risky, because as college students, we’re accustomed to being around our peers, especially when it comes to Facebook.

You don’t want to update your status to “… is sooooo drunk rite now!!!!1!!!” and then show up late for work the next day if your boss can see it. When you tell your boss that traffic was crazy, he or she will probably fire you then do something even more hurtful: de-friend you.

So now that I’ve educated you on these topics that you had no idea about before you started reading this column, you can finally discern what is and what isn’t safe on the Internet. I’m glad I could help.