The Downside of the Internet
The internet is one of the greatest places to be – while you can get all sorts of opportunities and crate opportunities for yourself on the internet, it can’t be ignored that the internet does have a downside to it. While we save photos that inspire us – fashion and style inspiration, hair and makeup and whatnot, we also stumble upon pieces of entertainment every now and then.
Be it a craftily worded meme or a hilarious video – sometimes we’re laughing at the detriment of others. Ever wondered what the person whose face is being used as a meme feels like? I mean, there’s a difference between a celebrity face being used and a regular individual. Though both can hate being used as a meme, the regular individual gets it much worse. I often wonder of the personalities behind some famous meme faces – the man on the phone, for example.
I got to experience the other not-so-awesome side of the Internet this week. It involved my uncle and a fraudulent opportunity. My uncle was chasing an opportunity to get money which he had apparently been promised by some company as a grant for his business. He was supposed to get an amount, which was allegedly up to $250,000 and the thought of all this sent him into a frenzy. He came into town for a few days in order to get the money. The gist was that he’d enlisted in the help of a lady to receive the payment into her domiciliary account, and then she was meant to give him the money. Of course, the lady kept him on some sort of wild goose chase. The location for the meet up kept changing, and eventually my uncle was warned by my mother that he should meet this person in a public space to avoid any stories that touch – what if they wanted to kidnap or kill him?
And so, my uncle went to meet the so called individual. I wondered what would happen until I got my answer that evening. He returned and said that the lady had sent someone else, and the man started interviewing him and asking him a series of questions. Before he knew It, he was being recorded on a phone. As he attempted to stop the recording, unknown to him the video was quickly sent to the lady, who then posted it on her Facebook page with a scathing caption. As I watched the video, I felt my heart drop into my stomach.
There was my uncle – the man who I had spent my early childhood with and gotten along with so well. In a few seconds he was reduced to nothing but a deluded individual, his whole life dissected by the people in the comment section from just watching a video of not more than 75 seconds. With each comment I felt angry, hearing all sorts of things. They even said he was a scammer and was out to get the lady – imagine how this all appeared to me? a guy I knew as an avid reader and hardworker was now being torn to pieces, called a scammer amongst other things. His slightly disheveled appearance just made me sad, as when he’d arrived I told him of how he’d lost so much weight – he’d been through a bout of malaria some months back, in addition to the hustle.
There was my uncle – the man who I had spent my early childhood with and gotten along with so well. In a few seconds he was reduced to nothing but a deluded individual, his whole life dissected by the people in the comment section from… Click To Tweet
Now, while I don’t really understand what is going on (there isn’t enough evidence to piece the story together and arrive at a solid conclusion), the reality remains this – these people we sometimes see on viral videos being circulated through social media have families and are actual human beings. Just imagine how we jump to conclusions so easily without bothering to know the full facts?
This experience was truly interesting, and a reminder that while the internet is an amazing place, it can sometimes turn scary. I wonder what the effect on my uncles reputation would be from this video. None of these people knew him, yet they butchered him so easily and rained insults on him. I’m just hoping it doesn’t hinder his more legitimate opportunities to succeed.