I am sure that we can all agree that we need to be on guard against the scammers, spammers, get-rich-quick schemers and porn star wannabes who invade the social networks on a regular basis. Many of us have already had to deal with questionable accounts where very little info is available on the user’s page. Maybe there is no cover image or profile pic. Or maybe no posts have been made yet. Or maybe you sense something else a bit unusual about the page. All of these things can result in raising our suspicion, oft times with good reason. In such cases, we should listen to that inner voice, and proceed with caution.
However, at the same time, I would like to add a degree of balance to our perspective here. While we need to exercise caution, at the same time, we also need to demonstrate a little bit of patience, wisdom, compassion and understanding in regards to those people amongst us who may not be as computer-literate as we are. Sometimes we tend to forget that, years ago, we all started out knowing nothing, or at least very little. We were all newbies at one time.
If there is one thing I have learned after being on the social networks for eleven years, it is that there are a lot of people joining the social networks who are elderly — and even more advanced in age — who have little to no computer experience whatsoever. They hear about how they can keep in touch with their families and loved ones via the Internet, and they decide to have a go at it, oft times at the encouragement of their younger family members.
However, so many of these elderly people are completely lost once they get online. What you and I may consider easy to figure out and be rather obvious, may pose as a major problem and a huge hurdle to some of these older people. Even the simplest thing such as adding a cover image or a profile pic may befuddle such people.
For example, since I joined some of the social networks, I have come across a number of member pages where the privacy settings were not set properly. As a result, nobody was able to see that person’s timeline; yet the owner of the page was not even aware of this fact until I pointed it out to them. In some cases, I was able to contact some of these people via private chat, and I was able to help them to fix their privacy settings, for which they were very thankful. I could have just written them off as suspicious characters, but I didn’t.
So again, let’s exercise caution in our online activities, but let’s also exercise some patience, mercy, compassion and understanding with those amongst us who may need it. Let me leave you with a few verses for your consideration:
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James 1:4, KJV
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4:32, KJV
Thanks for taking the time to read this.