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Opinion & Editorial

Editorial: Internet Safety

How dangerous is the internet? On Wednesday, December 2, Jesse Weinberger presented a scary yet powerful case against using the internet heedlessly. She showed us a wide variety of evidence that proves internet is full of danger, utilizing what some have described as “confrontational scare tactics.”

Although some have felt that she took her strategies too far, it is important to realize that some students in the Academy community can be cynical. Certainly, some of the statistics she used were purely made to prey on our fears. One million online predators sound scary, but in the context of more than 3.259 billion other normal people, it isn’t nearly as frightening. Her advice on distrusting the media–on not believing the magazine covers–we’ve all heard it before, right?

Yet she did accomplish her goal: she got the community talking about internet safety. Weinberger spurred discussion and action, which she might not have accomplished if her presentation was less sensationalist. Let us not forget, there were some very real dangers posed to our demographic that she mentioned. Snapchats may not stay on your hard drive for all eternity as she implied, but they are not wiped off the face of the Earth as soon as you view them. How much information will you choose to share with others?

We must also remember that our generation is especially connected, and, in fact, wedded to our devices and social media. If anything, we have tended to be too relaxed when it comes to internet security, because we’ve grown up with the internet our whole lives. Therefore, we must be careful to realize our own biases and correct for them to stay safe.

Weinberg did not, however, focus on the good that the Internet can bring. The Internet and social media are not made to hurt us; on the contrary, this technology was made to bring people together. The Internet allows brilliant people to connect across the globe. The key, then, is keeping safety in mind when using the Internet, for only in this way it can be a powerful tool for good.


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