For many Singaporeans, the internet is a hotbed of embarrassment.
The lack of information literacy has caused many shameful moments in a lot of people’s past.
Since many Singaporeans have suffered from it, we’ve compiled eight misadventures of young Singaporeans, so you can learn from and not to repeat them.
These contributors have only come forward to tell of their foul ups on the basis they remained anonymous.
And it’s also probably because they didn’t spend some time on this “How to be S.U.R.E.” comics guide, an initiative by the National Library Board to get the public to suffer from less embarrassing moments online.
1. Gary, 28-year-old Singapore Armed Forces Regular
“I read a New Nation article about IPPT being merged into one station, instead of three. I got riled up and wrote a lengthy rant on Facebook. Obviously, my Company Officer was not impressed and my sergeants had a joke about it the next day in camp.”
Lesson learnt: Always evaluate the source of the information you’re reading it. Well, if you don’t know what satire is in this day and age, perhaps you shouldn’t be on the internet.
2. Adam, 21-year-old student
“Only young people were using Facebook eight years ago, so I used it as an outlet to express my teenage angst. Mostly about my parents and how I wished they would die. I had forgotten all about this, until my Dad recently started going through my old posts. It was hard explaining myself.”
Lesson Learnt: People change. Relationships change. Your 8-year-old Facebook status? Not exactly. Maybe a review of your past statuses is in order.
3. Chris, 25-year-old management trainee
“I think if you Google my name right now you’ll still find old livejournal/ blogspot entries WhEre I TyPEd lYk Dis anD I tAlked ABouT MaRriagE WhEN I WaS in SeConDarY ThREe. The worst part? I’ve forgotten my password. I think I need to change my name.”
Lesson Learnt: What goes on the internet stays on the internet forever. Be careful what you post.
4. Joyce, 21-year-old business undergraduate
“I watched a video where a man managed to bungee jump without the use of any cables. I didn’t finish the video, but I shared it on my wall proclaiming how it was a great time to be alive. If I did, I would have found out that it was an ad for IKEA for wireless charging.”
Lesson Learnt: Don’t believe everything on the internet. Can’t you just finish the video before sharing it? Simple tip: Search “ hoax” on Google before you share anything.
5. Wei Jie, 23-year-old student
“I recently watched The Martian and I shared how much I respected the ARES 3 crew for going back for their lost crew member. Later someone told me the movie wasn’t based on actual events.”
Lesson Learnt: Can’t help you there, buddy. You need to read more.
6. Ismail, 27-year-old auditor
“In my mind, JEM (Jurong East Mall) is always in a perpetual state of chaos. Every time I see something about JEM on my time feed, I share it without even clicking on it. I’ve scrolled through my timeline and realise I’ve shared articles about water pipes bursting at least five times. It was the same article.”
Lesson Learnt: It’s always useful to check out the dates of the article before sharing. Or at least read the article before sharing it. FYI, the water pipes technically only burst once...this year.
7. Dinh Hung, 23-year-old engineering student
“I shared my personal information in exchange for DOTA2 game currency. I then shared the link and tagged all my friends, thinking it was a legitimate page. It wasn’t. I found out first hand when my friend called me a ‘noob’ on Facebook. In my defence, they had designed the scam page to look very much like the original.”
Lesson Learnt: Learning how to properly evaluate the source of information will go a long, long way in preventing you from looking stupid.
8. Wei Jing, 21-year-old student
“For the longest time, I believed everything The Real Singapore wrote about was true. I think a couple of friends have deleted me over the years. I hadn’t noticed until one day my girlfriend told me how embarrassing my Facebook page was.”
Lesson learnt: As a general rule, political sites (both by the establishment and anti-establishment) can’t be trusted. They often distort information to suit their agenda. The solution? Read more than one source and evaluate it yourself.
How could these moments have been avoided? Well, for starters, here’s some:
● Look at its origins. Is it trustworthy? Make sure that the source of information is credible and reliable.
● Know what you’re reading. Search for clarity. Look for facts rather than opinions.
● Dig deeper. Go beyond the initial source. Investigate thoroughly before making a conclusion; check and compare with multiple sources.
● Find the balance. Exercise fair judgement. Look from different angles – there are at least two sides to a story.
Always be 100% S.U.R.E. of the information you received (Source, Understand, Research, Evaluate). If you aren’t, always do more research before you arrive at your own conclusions.
Not sure how to achieve that? Do check out how to be more discerning with information online with the National Library Board today. www.nlb.gov.sg/sure
Top photo via
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