Making friends online all over the world is great especially when they all share your love of Contortion! There are some key things to remember especially when you’re chatting to people you don’t really know about your contortion training.
Unfortunately there are a large number of people who like to pretend to be people that they’re not. This is unfortunately quite common in the online contortion community. Luckily there are moderators out there (like us!) that have your back and want to make sure you stay as safe as possible online.
Sharing personal content
Sharing photos, videos and chatting about your training is great, and it’s what keeps communities like Contortionist’s Unite!, Facebook Groups and Discord alive and kicking. Without this content there would really be no reason for these communities to exist. Being careful about where you share content is super important!
As a good general rule, you should only share content privately with people you trust or in designated private groups and areas where someone made sure everyone in the group is who they say they are.
Don’t share your location details
While making online friends telling someone your home country or city is fine. Be very careful not to share your exact location, such as street or neighbourhood. This can make it easy for people to figure out where you tend to hang out or spend time. This includes things like where you go to school, work or where you train.
Don’t share personal details
This is common sense: sharing your personal details is risky when talking to new people. Make sure you don’t share things like your phone number, social media accounts, home address and even your full name as people can use this to look you up on social media.
Meeting people that you’ve met online can be a scary situation especially if the person is keeping their identity hidden. If you feel someone isn’t honest about who they are, do not plan to meet them. One of the quickest ways to make sure someone is who they say they are is to arrange a time to talk over video messenger.
Kids: Make sure that you let your parents know before you talk to people over video messenger
Parents: It might be best to keep an eye on the conversation to make sure that the person that they’re talking to is really who they say they are and that they don’t have any not-so-great intentions.
As an adult the internet is a great way to meet people with the same interests as you especially if you gain a training partner! Some caution should be practiced before meeting. Make sure you meet them first in a public place where there are other people around. It’s best to meet up with other practitioners too, as you know that they have the same intentions as you.
Nobody likes to be a snitch but sometimes you need to speak up for the good of everyone else! If someone in an online community has made you feel uncomfortable, you need to tell someone. Online communities such as Discord or Contortionists Unite! have administrators that will listen to your concerns about other members. This is something that makes them safer than talking on Facebook groups, reporting people can be a long-winded process.
Above all else, make sure you feel comfortable! If ever someone makes you feel strange or uncomfortable in the community make sure you tell someone about it. If you keep it to yourself they’ll keep doing it, and will probably do it to other people too.