Connecting to the internet means we enter another universe with its own unique laws. A universe where we can speak up and let our voices be heard, feel some kind of equality and experience freedom.
Unfortunately, it is also a universe where people have the added anonymity leading to an environment of abuse and addiction. The internet in a whole is a place where cause and effect (karma) happen. I call it consequence: a result or an effect that naturally or logically follows that action.
I have made a list of ten unexpected consequences of being online. I chose negative consequences to make you aware of the powerful impact these unexpected consequences can have on our daily lives.
1.Online Social Networking: Can potentially damage your online reputation and gives offline trouble for users (home burglaries – thieves monitor your daily patterns). Prospect employers can check your character online.
2. Online Gaming: These have anti-social consequences, violence – and physical- and personal development consequences.
3. Online Piracy: Software piracy is stealing. In addition to legal consequences, you could be exposed to viruses, corrupt disk or defective software, no warranties, lack of technical support and eligibility for software upgrades. Copyright infringements are punishable by up to 5 years in prison or $250 000 in fines.
4. Online Victimization: Exposure of being a victim for unwanted sexual material, harassment and sexual solicitation.
5. Online Shopping (B2C – business to consumer): It’s convenient but risky. There is fraud and security concerns, lack of full cost disclosure, privacy concerns and lack of hands on inspection. Online shopping can bring you in financial problems and debts. It is addictive to an extend where you anti-socialize and become frustrated, angry and filled with resentment and envy.
6. Online Bullying : Students or teenagers who are bullied experience headaches, colds and other physical illnesses, as well as psychological problems. They are often silent and their social behavior change dramatically.
7. Online Racism: One becomes filled with hatred of the subjected race, which could lead to discrimination, segregation and hate crimes. And the one attacked, experiences a lot of suffering and pain from online racism.
8. Online Identity Theft: Identity thieves typically obtain and exploit personally identifiable information about individuals. They use various credentials to authenticate themselves and to impersonate them.
9. Online Dating: The risks of meeting dishonest partners can leave you broken-hearted. You can become frustrated if the site is not functioning properly or you can realize too late that the insufficient amount of members after registration with your credit card. You can become addicted and anti-social.
10. Online Risk Taking: You’re exposed to various kinds of abuse such as violence, sexual – and substance abuse. Teenagers are at risk of an adult-orientated behaviour. Displaying risky behaviour publicly may also negatively impact on future opportunities for employment or university admissions for example.