Get Empowered: The Internet Is NOT Your Friend

Today, I received a long, nasty text message from my best friend’s boyfriend. The text, which was followed by at least four others, asked me about supposed “stripping pictures” I had of my friend. I was shocked by the text (the content and his bad grammar) – and completely confused.

I thought about everything I had done or said to anyone from home in the past few weeks. Were there some mysterious pictures of my scantily-clad best friend floating around my apartment that I didn’t know about? No way, Jose.

Then, I remembered a small MySpace comment I posted on my friend’s page mid-May. It read something like: “heyy girl – I got some old pictures developed and there’s like five of you stripping! I kid you not!”. The “stripping” pictures consisted of my friend twirling her sweatshirt over her head – while still fully clothed. Apparently, at the time I thought this comment was hilarious, and important enough to post on the internet for half the world to see.

Either way, this little fiasco, followed by the controversy over this video , made me reconsider what I want people to be able to find out about me online.

Not to sound all preach-y, but the internet isn’t a safe little haven where you can post anything you’d like. To an extent, yes, but in reality anyone, anywhere can access your information – whether that means a YouTube video from freshman year when your floor decided to play drunk Twister – or month-old MySpace comments that accidentally incriminate your best.

So just be careful – Google yourself if you have to (I know, friends can be sneaky). You don’t need to be the next girl receiving hate texts because of a funny little “joke” video or wall post. (And while you’re at it, seriously check out that YouTube video. Hilarious – and utterly confusing.)

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