How to Stay Safe and Sane Online

Updated on May 11, 2020
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I write classic "good vs evil" creative writing pieces with smart twists inspired by vintage action cinema, gaming, and heavy metal.

We are Social Creatures after All

Since the advent of smartphones and data plans, the whole world is in our pocket. As I write this, there is a group of people just waiting for a message; looking for an excuse to start a flame war where the former is a catalyst. However, we as a species are still social creatures, therefore, crave interactions with others despite all the disappointments, heartbreaks and questioning our judgment afterward which leads to my article's purpose; to ease the pain of those still craving productive online interactions, long term connections and a good time. I'm not promising awesome results but, I'm sure the pain and heartbreak of failure would be considerably less.

Finally, I've met some of my best friends online; in the unlikeliest of online places at that so, its well worth it to keep trying. Even just to kill time between your other obligations.

Expect Nothing but the Worst

This is a no brainer but, as stated by Vladimir Lenin, repetition is the mother of skill hence, I'll reiterate it. Sites like Omegle, TalkToStrangers and the like are notorious for perverts, bots and straight-up toxic people but, the most common mistake made by most, (myself included) is expecting a good conversation; at the very least.

From using all of the above for years, I learned to anticipate the absolute worst of people. Going away without ranting about the miserable state of the human race afterwards. Before, I'd punch a wall, wishing teleportation was invented to teach said toxic people a lesson and down some sedatives. However, when you do come across a positive interaction, it not only feels better but you have a catalyst for an engaging conversation; talk about the miserable state of the human race while joking about it.

Don't Engage Trolls

When someone is either spamming dead memes, unfunny and outdated jokes, or just empty threats and uncreative insults; a reaction is what they want. Therefore, just quit because trying to banter back and forth will only waste your time; such people usually, have nothing better to do aside from sitting on such sites hence, they will swamp you till you just say, "Screw it," or start hurling insults (that are just truths) that he's immune to because he knows you are right and thus, he learns nothing new as well. Just another mirror to his ugly face.

So, better to keep moving since those people are a waste of time. Most of them can't banter anyway due to their lack of originality of ideas. That and participating in flame wars is a surefire way to get banned on most social networking sites.

The ESC Key is your Friend

One button to end it all. Save your sanity and hit ESC when you get the typical stuff; dead memes, insults, etc. However, ESC will also save your computer from malware because bots have smartened up over the years. Some bots will send you fairly convincing messages in response. For example, when you ask, "Where are you from?" A bot will always reply in this fashion; "I from Finland/USA/UK" and straight after, a sexually-charged innuendo and a link. Hitting ESC is the best thing to do since such links and even pictures can be an information-stealing virus.

The Bottom line is....

So, the bottom line is, they call such sites "Chatroulette" for a reason because, as it's Las Vegas counterpart, it has a high percent chance of loss yet when you win, you win big and will meet someone well worth your time. However, you have to consider the above variables to make a loss less obvious and keep your motivation to try again higher. Also, such sites are not safe from viruses and malware therefore, remaining vigilant is essential.

Finally, the most important rule is NOT TO FEED THE TROLLS; not to give them what they want; a reaction. There is no pride in saying you won an Internet argument with a nameless anime avatar that talks in nothing but references only he understands and jokes only he finds funny. If anything, it makes you look stupid so, walk the other way without a word.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jake Clawson

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