Digital interactions can have a serious impact on our personal wellbeing and safety. It is important to stay aware of red flags and potential warning signs that your current online interaction could be a dangerous one. Do everything in your power to avoid any digital interaction scenario that exhibits any one (or more) of the following red flags, and seek the support of others whenever possible. No one deserves to fall victim to these harmful digital situations and to struggle alone in silence.
…when they make you feel uncomfortable.
No digital interaction should make you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. If the words you are reading in your digital interactions push you into uncomfortable territory, it is time to take action on blocking or removing yourself from the situation.
…when they do not take no for an answer.
Digital interactions should not be pushy, pesky, or persistent. Individuals on the other side of digital interactions should always respect your personal boundaries, and if they do not take no for an answer it is time to find an escape route. Remove yourself from the conversation and do not compromise your values and beliefs.
…when they ask for inappropriate content.
Be sure to not entertain digital interactions that make requests for inappropriate or explicit content. The individual on the other side of the digital interaction has poor intentions with your content and it could significantly jeopardize your privacy, your safety, and future endeavors. Do not share any content that you wouldn’t feel comfortable having on the front page of a major magazine.
…when they threaten or jeopardize your safety.
Huge red flags should be waving in your digital interactions if your personal safety has been threatened, compromised, or jeopardized. If you feel concerned for your personal safety at any time during a digital interaction, it is time to seek the assistance of an adult right away. Don’t take any chances with your personal safety, report the conversation, and let a loved one know.
…whey they make you doubt your self worth.
No digital interaction should make you feel less about yourself. If someone is putting you down, perpetuating hurtful information, or crushing your confidence, it is time to move on. Do not expose yourself, or give attention, to digital interactions that contain harmful and damaging information. Curb bullying behaviors by choosing to only surround yourself with digital interactions that make you feel good and that support and enhance your personal growth.