Don’t talk to strangers… online.

The Internet was established many years before I was born, yet the number one thing I heard growing up was “don’t talk to strangers online.” With so much potential, followed by uncertainty, I cannot blame my parents for the extra precaution they took regarding the internet.

It is very unlike me to not listen to what my parents say, one could even call me a goodie-two-shows, but I am thankful I didn’t obey by my parent’s online rules. If I never created a social media personality for myself, I would not be where I am today.

In September of 2011, I joined Twitter, the online hub for any NASCAR fan. After learning the tips and tricks of the site, I began interacting with NASCAR drivers and other fans. Through hours of hard work and connecting with people day after day, my time finally paid off in 2014.

After months of online interactions with Michigan International Speedway’s former president, Roger Curtis, I received a once in a lifetime experience. Curtis gave me a ‘fan appreciation’ award for my online personality representing the track. This award invited me to an exclusive race weekend behind the scenes tour, which gave me the opportunity to interview my favourite driver, Brad Keselowski.

 

From here my passion and involvement with NASCAR continued to grow. I joined the Michigan International Speedway Youth Fan Advisory Board, helping to promote the track to youth, and began writing for a NASCAR blog, The Podium Finish.

These NASCAR opportunities not only made me a better race fan but gave me more confidence in my everyday life. It is hard to believe that if I did not go out on a limb and talk to strangers online, most of these experiences never would have happened.

Moral of the story kids, it is important to listen to your parents. Maybe they do not ALWAYS know what is best, but just remember their intentions are pure. Like every situation, there are good and bad consequences from the internet, thankfully I have benefited from the World Wide Web.

Thanks for reading!

  • Kathleen

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Twitter Post:

They say ‘Don’t talk to strangers online.’ Find out what happened when I did! Get the full story here: http://wp.me/p3QRy0-fgL

Facebook Post:

When I was younger I always heard ‘Don’t talk to strangers online.’ It is safe to say that I did not listen to my parents. Find out what happened when I talked to strangers online and met these people in real life! Get the full story here: http://wp.me/p3QRy0-fgL

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6 thoughts on “Don’t talk to strangers… online.

  1. Hi Kathleen,

    Great title.

    I understand your point of view and I am glad you have found the job you love through SM.

    As you mentioned, the internet has given us such great opportunities both in personal and professional life. To give you credit, I think when it comes to personal life, the internet has opened many doors for those who don’t have any close family/friends by meeting new people, for those who live far from their loved ones to stay in contact with them, for those who can’t express themselves in person to talk/write about their feelings, and many more.

    On the flip side, I should admit that I am 100% on your parents’ side. Although I don’t have any children, I am always thinking of my only nephew. So I can imagine how worried parents can be given all the disasters ( e.g. being bullied, getting involved with sick people, getting stocked in dramas, etc) where children may be the silent and innocent victims. Given that, educating our kids and reminding them of both benefits and harms of SM, as your parents did, will help them to differentiate bad from good and danger from safe. I believe, the repetition entails expertise!

    Cheers,
    Leila

  2. Hi Kathleen!

    Great post! It is so great that you were able to turn a passion into a career!

    I saw a ‘meme’ online that said “2004 – don’t talk to strangers online and never get into someone’s car you don’t know”. Underneath it said “2017 – Lure strangers online and get into their cars”. The meme is referring to Uber. I thought it was hilarious because it really shows how the internet is changing and how we can connect one another.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Kim

  3. Hi Kathleen –

    I enjoyed reading your post. Interesting to read how your presence and following on social media has opened up many opportunities for you to pursue your passion.

    How often do you write for the Podium Finish blog site? I’m sure you enjoy doing that. I do some freelance writing for a Dairy magazine and really enjoy the change of pace from my other job and love having the opportunity to write about something that I’m passionate about, from reading your blog and hearing about your love of NASCAR I’m sure you feel similarly about your writing!

    All the best and I look forward to reading your next blog!

    Katie

  4. I liked this story. It keeps us human and reminds us that not all things unknown are bad for you. I believe in follow your gut and grow your dreams. It seems this is what you did and it has given you much joy. Wonderful news. Parents and children would benefit more from open honest communication about what you are doing and give healthy guidelines to developing your passion. Great work. I enjoyed the read.

  5. Good for you Kathleen, for figuring out how to pursue your dream job online. It takes a lot of work and stamina — lots of people don’t understand how much time and effort it takes to get to where you are today. I agree that parents have to know what their kids are doing, who they’re talking to, etc. The Internet is no different than the playground or the shopping mall. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi Kathleen, I really enjoyed this blog post. It shows some of the benefits of social media and the world wide web. One of the goals in social media is developing a voice in a niche you are interested and it seems like your hard work has paid off. You seem to have been successful in it so far.

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