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


Twitter Post:

They say ‘Don’t talk to strangers online.’ Find out what happened when I did! Get the full story here:

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:

COM0011: Post #1 – “One Second, I’ll Google That!”

It is evident that mobile technology plays a huge role in our daily lives. From cell phones to cars and beyond, technology is what makes society what it is. But without thinking about it, do you even realize how reliant you are on it?

The other day I was at a formal event for my University. Between the short conversations with students and professors, I was talking to an individual about this certificate program. He too was very interested in it and wanted to learn more. As he started asking more questions, I found myself not being able to accurately convey the necessary information to him the way I wanted to. That is when I said, “One second, I’ll Google that.”

For a second I paused. “Did I just say that,” I said to myself. This was one of the first times I have ever caught myself not being able to explain something to the best of my ability. Being a communications student, this was shocking to me. I was dependent on searching Google to find the Algonquin certificate program to explain the courses.

I must admit, it seems perfectly reasonable to pull out your phone part way through a conversation to show the other person a photo or video. In contrast, I had to rely on technology to further explain a program I am taking and why I think it is beneficial to his future as well. Something there just is not right.

People, just like myself, are slowly losing the ability to properly link their thoughts and opinions to others during conversations. The purpose of this post is not to suggest you eliminate technology from your everyday lives because that is impossible. The point I am trying to make here is that individuals should look back on their actions that use technology.

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Are there ways to overcome this reliance on technology moving forward in future conversations? The answer is yes. By being aware of these tendencies, individuals can work on leaving technology out of person-to-person interactions, just like I will try to do moving forward!

What are your thoughts? Technology entering conversations, hinder, or strengthen the value of the interaction?

Need more information before picking a side? Check out this awesome communication study by Emily Drago.

Thanks for reading!

– Kathleen


Promotion via Tweet:

Are you guilty? “One Second, I’ll Google That!” reflects on personal tendencies that should be broken regarding face-to-face communication!
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What are you guilty of today?

“One Second, I’ll Google That!” reflects on tendencies that should be broken regarding modern day conversations. When dealing with face-to-face interactions technology can both strengthen and hinder the quality.

Find out how below!