So, I watched Disconnect over the weekend. This film really changed my perspective of the Internet- to a rather dark place even though it may look safe and radiant on the surface. The film focuses on the three set of characters that are so absorbed by the Internet, and not being aware of how their actions could lead to dangerous consequences. Cyberbullying, fraud and cybersex were the main focus throughout the film. It is also sad seeing people are extremely attached and reliant on their smartphones, neglecting face-to-face communication and therefore, bonds between one another are quickly weakened, resulting in distrust and hostility. In the film, Ben, is a shy high school boy with no friends. When he was catfished and tricked into sending nude pics, it was spread throughout the entire school. He did not know who to talk to, and attempted to commit suicide after being both cyberbullied and bullied face-to-face. I have written numerous research papers for my English Composition and social science classes. The topic of cyberbullying is also not new, affecting many people especially female teenagers. Busy, working parents do not spend enough time with their children usually see cyberbullying as nonexistent- that’s why it’s crucial to maintain a close bond withchildren so they know what they are up to and problems they are facing. Also, catfishing (changing one’s identity, usually to pursue online romances) seems to be on the rise, which is one of the biggest reasons why we should not trust anyone on the Internet until we can properly verify on its validity.
These cybercrimes are real and occurring all around us. From what I learned, knowledge and awareness is key when you are using the Internet. One should know the boundaries and precautions they should be taking. Like in the film, taking part Internet activities such as chat rooms and Internet gambling increases your risk of getting your confidential information stolen, it is as easy as that. Moreover, addiction to Internet gambling, just like traditional gambling, can result in financial strains. We should all know that not all Internet users are good people, there will always be people waiting to take advantage of people whom are unknowledgeable.
Recently, I started to cover my webcam with tape after reading an article about how hackers could easily access your webcam to spy on you without your knowledge. I have gotten comments by other people saying I have extreme paranoia (*eyeroll*) but honestly speaking, better be safe than sorry.