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4 Online Life Lessons Of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Real people share their internet stories.

Real people, real online stories. We all have one. Between being reunited online to never wanting to use the internet again, here are four people recounting their online stories and experiences. From their stories, we can learn invaluable life lessons about people, online privacy, and honesty behind the computer screen.

 

The Good

The best stories are of positive human connection whether that be online or offline. Here is a story from {ijseo_redirect id=398} about two of the most important friends in her life:

I met two of the best women friends I’ve ever had. They’re sisters <3 from Germany. I met the eldest sister on DeviantArt where we bonded through Resident Evil fanart (we’re both huge Wesker fans). We began to talk quite extensively and then became friends on Facebook. Other aspects of our lives began to intertwine and our families became friends with each other as well. Then I met the younger sister and became close with her. I have plans to go visit them in a few months if everything goes okay. Prior to meeting them, it seemed impossible for me to make friends with other women and I was going through a pretty terrible depression. We’ve helped each other through a lot of crap and we’ve even kept vigil with each other when one of us is really sick. I don’t feel as if they’re all the way across the world even though they are.

 

Here is a story from {ijseo_redirect id=399} featuring a story of someone wanting to thank the anonymous strangers who saved their life:

To the 3 surfers who saved my life at Linda Mar 7/13 4 pm
I don't know who you are or how to locate you, but you literally saved my life. I want to thank you.

The last thing I recall is paddling for a wave (at Crespi) and the next thing I remember is laying on a stretcher on the beach looking up at EMTs and you guys in wetsuits. I was barely conscious and the ambulance took me to General Hospital's trauma unit in SF and I was able to go home by 8 pm after x-rays and a CAT scan. I have a concussion but am glad to be alive. I want you to know that I'm OK. My board made it home unscathed. The wetsuit they had to cut off me was old and threadbare. I left a pile of sand in the hospital bed.

The EMT told the nurse that I threw up a bucket of water after you dragged me out of the water (I don't remember), which tells me that you saved me from drowning. I have rescued people stuck in a rip twice, but when we got to shore they were fine, just shaken. What you three guys did for a stranger and fellow surfer (me) was heroic and you should be insanely proud.

As soon as this headache goes away I hope to see you in the lineup. I usually ride a 9'0 Robert August (white with yellow and blue stripes) and Linda Mar has been my home break for the past 19 years. I would love to thank you in person, and even though I won't be able to give you a proper Game of Thrones you-saved-my-life-thank-you, I am indebted to you all.

My children and my partner thank you, my family and friends thank you, and surfers everywhere will silently thank you every time I share this story.

Stay Stoked!

 

The Bad

Sometimes, the internet can provide a safe space to express yourself without judgment from others. But when the internet is used to hide and misrepresent yourself, people can be hurt. Here is the {ijseo_redirect id=400} with his experience:

“I made a song about you!”, Mckenzie answered the phone excitedly

We had met over an app called Chatous, you basically chat with strangers and strike up conversations. McKenzie and I had matched, she was a year younger than I was as well as from the same state.

She was everything a guy would want: Focused on her goals, smart, creative, full of happiness and attractive. Not over the top attractive to make me think she googled the images though. After chatting a bit more we decide to take it to the next level.

What were texts over Chatous turned into texts over the phone. Feeling brave, in a week I decided to call her just to confirm that I was speaking to a lady.

Her sweet voice was made out of some tune from Heaven. At the time I was living a life of turmoil and uncertainty, but her voice was something extraordinary. She was a bit shy at first, trying to gauge whether or not to open up.

“Haha come on, you’re always laughing and giggling over text as well as sharing stories. I want to hear that giggle of yours!”

I got that cute giggle from her and slowly but surely she opened up. She lived in Southern California which is a long drive, but talking to her was the equivalent of having a great night’s sleep EVERY day. I felt great appreciation for her and everything she meant to me as we shared stories and related to an uncanny level.

McKenzie wrote a song about me and actually sang it while playing the piano. She would send me videos of her competing in dance competitions, pictures and selfies of her, as well as sweet voice messages. I felt like she was everything I ever wanted.

Even though we could not be together physically, we were there for each other emotionally. The more we progressed through getting to know each other the more that we shared a lot more intimate moments. Without getting too much into detail, we went as far as engaging with ourselves over the phone. We were teens with raging hormones, it was completely natural to behave the way we did.

Unfortunately, this is not a happy story. About a month later she confessed that her best friend died from a seizure while coming down her home’s steps. As she was sobbing I could only sit there in my truck listening to her. I wish I could have been there with her to at least provide better support.

After her best friend died, she began to slowly retract herself and her attention. She would give excuses as to why we couldn’t talk. I figured that perhaps her parents had caught her as she was interacting with herself and probably banned her from talking to me. I could not comprehend the sudden cut off without explanation.

Well without making a long story too long, I got ahold of her one final time. I was excited to tell her that I was going down to San Diego to meet her for the first time.

Her:“WHAT???”

Me:”What do you mean ‘What’?”

She began to lose her s***. She refused to see me no matter what. After talking about it with her, her true identity was revealed.

Her: “I am not McKenzie. Those pictures and videos were my best friend’s before she died”

Her: “I have a medical condition that makes me look hideous. I didn’t want to tell you because I feared you would skip me like everyone else did”

I was completely silent. I had no idea what to do or say. I literally internalized her voice to the pictures she sent me. I had eagerly told several friends about her as well, excited about my journey to Southern California.

She began Facetiming me which confirmed her true identity and her condition. Her voice matched her true face, which was severely distorted because of her condition. I told her it wouldn’t work out. I was totally in awe and in complete shock I did not want anything to do with anyone.

As soon as we hung up I put my phone in the living room counter and slept in the sofa all day until my parents got home from the Summer vacation in Las Vegas.

 

The Ugly

Downright ugly stuff can happen online sometimes like identity theft. Along with your online reputation, identity theft and card fraud use can potentially destroy your financial reputation too. Here is the identity theft {ijseo_redirect id=401}:

It happened to me several years ago and while it was troubling, it was not something that had long-term implications.

Someone started to access my checking account to pay small bills. Because I was paying everything online, I really didn't notice it for many months -- it was nothing major at all. Then the person who had stolen my cash card got greedy and started to empty my account several hundred dollars at a time.

I went to my bank, closed the account, and let them deal with the fraud. Then I froze all of my credit cards, something I should have done earlier, and it just went away. Because I had done a police report of the identity theft, the freezing of my credit cards -- means nobody can apply for credit in my name -- was free.

Getting your identity stolen changes your life. I no longer bank online even though I live most of my life online. I no longer pay my bills online despite the fact that I did that for years and years. I never use my debit card to pay for anything; credit cards have protections debit cards clearly lack. I recognize that the internet is more dangerous than most of the worst neighborhoods in my city. And I avoid it for financial transactions except when I can't.

I have a friend whose identity theft got much more serious than mine and he suffered immeasurably when his credit rating plunged and liens started to show up on his credit reports. It's not a nice place out there.

 

{ijseo_redirect id=117}

There you have it. Four real life, personal stories that show the benefits and pitfalls of your online reputation. Has a good, bad, or ugly online experience ever happened with you? What is your story about your online reputation?

4 Online Life Lessons Of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Real people share their internet stories.

Real people, real online stories. We all have one. Between being reunited online to never wanting to use the internet again, here are four people recounting their online stories and experiences. From their stories, we can learn invaluable life lessons about people, online privacy, and honesty behind the computer screen.

 

The Good

The best stories are of positive human connection whether that be online or offline. Here is a story from {ijseo_redirect id=398} about two of the most important friends in her life:

I met two of the best women friends I’ve ever had. They’re sisters <3 from Germany. I met the eldest sister on DeviantArt where we bonded through Resident Evil fanart (we’re both huge Wesker fans). We began to talk quite extensively and then became friends on Facebook. Other aspects of our lives began to intertwine and our families became friends with each other as well. Then I met the younger sister and became close with her. I have plans to go visit them in a few months if everything goes okay. Prior to meeting them, it seemed impossible for me to make friends with other women and I was going through a pretty terrible depression. We’ve helped each other through a lot of crap and we’ve even kept vigil with each other when one of us is really sick. I don’t feel as if they’re all the way across the world even though they are.

 

Here is a story from {ijseo_redirect id=399} featuring a story of someone wanting to thank the anonymous strangers who saved their life:

To the 3 surfers who saved my life at Linda Mar 7/13 4 pm
I don't know who you are or how to locate you, but you literally saved my life. I want to thank you.

The last thing I recall is paddling for a wave (at Crespi) and the next thing I remember is laying on a stretcher on the beach looking up at EMTs and you guys in wetsuits. I was barely conscious and the ambulance took me to General Hospital's trauma unit in SF and I was able to go home by 8 pm after x-rays and a CAT scan. I have a concussion but am glad to be alive. I want you to know that I'm OK. My board made it home unscathed. The wetsuit they had to cut off me was old and threadbare. I left a pile of sand in the hospital bed.

The EMT told the nurse that I threw up a bucket of water after you dragged me out of the water (I don't remember), which tells me that you saved me from drowning. I have rescued people stuck in a rip twice, but when we got to shore they were fine, just shaken. What you three guys did for a stranger and fellow surfer (me) was heroic and you should be insanely proud.

As soon as this headache goes away I hope to see you in the lineup. I usually ride a 9'0 Robert August (white with yellow and blue stripes) and Linda Mar has been my home break for the past 19 years. I would love to thank you in person, and even though I won't be able to give you a proper Game of Thrones you-saved-my-life-thank-you, I am indebted to you all.

My children and my partner thank you, my family and friends thank you, and surfers everywhere will silently thank you every time I share this story.

Stay Stoked!

 

The Bad

Sometimes, the internet can provide a safe space to express yourself without judgment from others. But when the internet is used to hide and misrepresent yourself, people can be hurt. Here is the {ijseo_redirect id=400} with his experience:

“I made a song about you!”, Mckenzie answered the phone excitedly

We had met over an app called Chatous, you basically chat with strangers and strike up conversations. McKenzie and I had matched, she was a year younger than I was as well as from the same state.

She was everything a guy would want: Focused on her goals, smart, creative, full of happiness and attractive. Not over the top attractive to make me think she googled the images though. After chatting a bit more we decide to take it to the next level.

What were texts over Chatous turned into texts over the phone. Feeling brave, in a week I decided to call her just to confirm that I was speaking to a lady.

Her sweet voice was made out of some tune from Heaven. At the time I was living a life of turmoil and uncertainty, but her voice was something extraordinary. She was a bit shy at first, trying to gauge whether or not to open up.

“Haha come on, you’re always laughing and giggling over text as well as sharing stories. I want to hear that giggle of yours!”

I got that cute giggle from her and slowly but surely she opened up. She lived in Southern California which is a long drive, but talking to her was the equivalent of having a great night’s sleep EVERY day. I felt great appreciation for her and everything she meant to me as we shared stories and related to an uncanny level.

McKenzie wrote a song about me and actually sang it while playing the piano. She would send me videos of her competing in dance competitions, pictures and selfies of her, as well as sweet voice messages. I felt like she was everything I ever wanted.

Even though we could not be together physically, we were there for each other emotionally. The more we progressed through getting to know each other the more that we shared a lot more intimate moments. Without getting too much into detail, we went as far as engaging with ourselves over the phone. We were teens with raging hormones, it was completely natural to behave the way we did.

Unfortunately, this is not a happy story. About a month later she confessed that her best friend died from a seizure while coming down her home’s steps. As she was sobbing I could only sit there in my truck listening to her. I wish I could have been there with her to at least provide better support.

After her best friend died, she began to slowly retract herself and her attention. She would give excuses as to why we couldn’t talk. I figured that perhaps her parents had caught her as she was interacting with herself and probably banned her from talking to me. I could not comprehend the sudden cut off without explanation.

Well without making a long story too long, I got ahold of her one final time. I was excited to tell her that I was going down to San Diego to meet her for the first time.

Her:“WHAT???”

Me:”What do you mean ‘What’?”

She began to lose her s***. She refused to see me no matter what. After talking about it with her, her true identity was revealed.

Her: “I am not McKenzie. Those pictures and videos were my best friend’s before she died”

Her: “I have a medical condition that makes me look hideous. I didn’t want to tell you because I feared you would skip me like everyone else did”

I was completely silent. I had no idea what to do or say. I literally internalized her voice to the pictures she sent me. I had eagerly told several friends about her as well, excited about my journey to Southern California.

She began Facetiming me which confirmed her true identity and her condition. Her voice matched her true face, which was severely distorted because of her condition. I told her it wouldn’t work out. I was totally in awe and in complete shock I did not want anything to do with anyone.

As soon as we hung up I put my phone in the living room counter and slept in the sofa all day until my parents got home from the Summer vacation in Las Vegas.

 

The Ugly

Downright ugly stuff can happen online sometimes like identity theft. Along with your online reputation, identity theft and card fraud use can potentially destroy your financial reputation too. Here is the identity theft {ijseo_redirect id=401}:

It happened to me several years ago and while it was troubling, it was not something that had long-term implications.

Someone started to access my checking account to pay small bills. Because I was paying everything online, I really didn't notice it for many months -- it was nothing major at all. Then the person who had stolen my cash card got greedy and started to empty my account several hundred dollars at a time.

I went to my bank, closed the account, and let them deal with the fraud. Then I froze all of my credit cards, something I should have done earlier, and it just went away. Because I had done a police report of the identity theft, the freezing of my credit cards -- means nobody can apply for credit in my name -- was free.

Getting your identity stolen changes your life. I no longer bank online even though I live most of my life online. I no longer pay my bills online despite the fact that I did that for years and years. I never use my debit card to pay for anything; credit cards have protections debit cards clearly lack. I recognize that the internet is more dangerous than most of the worst neighborhoods in my city. And I avoid it for financial transactions except when I can't.

I have a friend whose identity theft got much more serious than mine and he suffered immeasurably when his credit rating plunged and liens started to show up on his credit reports. It's not a nice place out there.

 

{ijseo_redirect id=117}

There you have it. Four real life, personal stories that show the benefits and pitfalls of your online reputation. Has a good, bad, or ugly online experience ever happened with you? What is your story about your online reputation?


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