An Interconnected World
You have probably heard by now that the world is becoming "smaller". What does that mean exactly? Well, it simply means that while the world is physically the same size, it is becoming easier than ever to interact with people further and further away. Some people end up having a closer relationship with someone online who lives half a world away than their next-door neighbor.
This phenomenon is not a good or bad thing per se. It can be either one depending on how you as a member of society make use of this increasing interconnectedness. Like with many other things in life, your actions will determine whether something will be to your benefit or to your detriment.
There are many benefits from being able to connect with so many people. If you do not feel a sense of connection towards members of your community, you need not feel lonely as you can simply go online and interact with people from around the world who share your interests and aspirations.
Indeed, many people with niche interests sometimes find it difficult to find people with similar interests and passions near where they live. But there just so many different online forums these days that cater to virtually every little clique and hobby you can imagine, which brings a sense of validation to people they previously did not have.
Opportunities also increase exponentially simply because the barriers to pursuing anything, whether it be a career or a social circle, have been dramatically reduced by the internet. You can live in San Francisco and work for a company remotely that is based in Paris and be part of a Minecraft enthusiast group that was started by someone living in Sydney.
Physical barriers might still exist in many parts of the world, but this virtual interconnectivity allows us to bypass a lot of these barriers. It allows for us to expand our horizons and to pursue things that would otherwise be impossible. With the right judgement, whole "new worlds" can open up to us.
But there are two sides to every coin. For all its benefits, this "shrinking" of the world bring about many potential perils. A simple misstep or temporary lapse of judgement can be disastrous to your life and even the people around it. It is imperative that these drawbacks be understood.
There exist countless international online scams that prey on gullible people and steal not just money, but personal information. If someone clicks an unsafe link that scammer sends them in order to receive a 'prize', they might end up giving their bank account information to a crime syndicate that sells them to unscrupulous predators.
There have been people who use dating websites that use a fake profile in order to lure unsuspecting girls and sometimes boys into being kidnapped and sold into human trafficking. Very often, these kids are never heard of again and are subject to untold abuses and the hands of the worst sort of human beings.
These problems have become so rampant that people sometimes go to extreme measures to protect themselves. Some people, while taking the necessary precautions to protect their information and privacy, end up losing trust in society and become increasingly paranoid. This is a very unfortunate trend that is best minimized wherever possible.
Use a VPN and Exercise Good Personal Judgement
A very common remedy that is relatively affordable is the use of a virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN allows the user to change the reported location of the device being used which has the effect of concealing the user's whereabouts from anyone that would like to use that information for ill intent.
Now, it is not advised for someone to use a VPN that is free. This is simply because VPNs of that nature quite often use your information for themselves and end up selling it to third parties anyway. Therefore, well reputed VPNs such as Express VPN is recommended. You can read the ExpressVPN review online for free and make up your mind.
Some people simply restrict their exploration of the internet. Some will do things such as only exploring mainstream websites that are well protected and well reputed. Although this is a very safe route, it does take away a lot of opportunities which was the whole point in the first place. This is generally seen as a last resort for those who have exhausted other methods.
As a general rule, exercising good personal judgement will usually allow users to steer past the most harmful corners of the internet. Sensible measures to protect user privacy are just fine, however must not be taken to the extreme so as to curtail most interactions which was the very reason to go online in the first place.
The Internet Is a Matter of Balance
At the end of the day, the internet is a tool like any other. It can be used to access a world of opportunity in business as well as socially, but it can also get people into trouble if they are too reckless. It comes down to a matter of balance: maximizing the benefits whilst taking measures to minimize the risk.
Ultimately, good personal judgement needs to be exercised in order to benefit most from this exciting new trend. You should trust your gut to know when to seize the moment and when to be careful. Only by striking a balance can you truly take advantage of this brave new world!
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