The Internet is a fantastic way to connect with people from all over the country and around the world with different experiences and diverse backgrounds. "Meeting" new people on the Internet is easy, fun and has led to many close and supportive friendships.
The strength of the discussion forums and chat groups is that you can share very intimate and personal information. You can talk freely about issues you would never share with family and friends. That can be very healing.
Sadly there are people who use the Internet to take advantage of those who are vulnerable.
People who are struggling with depression, manic depression and anxiety are in a vulnerable state. They may be feeling more lonely and isolated, self-esteem may be weakened and judgment may be compromised by illness. It is a time to be especially kind to yourself and careful of your safety.
Take care in your sharing
Remember when using discussion boards or chat lines that people are may not always be who they say they are! They may not be anything like how they describe themselves. They may not be providing their real name and may be logging on using someone else's account. They may be contacting you from prison without letting you know. Who knows? Make it a practice to find out.
The MDSC wants to offer you the benefits of Internet discussions and reduce the risks. Although we have activated the private messaging email feature, but strongly encourage open sharing amongst our community and not through one-on-one partnerships.
Use an online name - not your real name.
- Avoid sharing personal identifying information like phone numbers, home address etc.
- Do not agree to get together with someone you meet online.
If you do decide to meet someone in person, take the following precautions:
- Check to see if this person is who they say they are. Ask for identifying information and verify if it is true (like their work and home phone number, address etc.) If they are legitimate, they will not mind sharing this information.
- Don't go alone! Take a friend and let someone know what you are planning.
- Meet that person in a public place. Take time to get to know the person before you agree to meet in private. Stay around others until you feel confident you are safe.
- If you have had bad experiences in relationships before or are too quick to trust - take extra care. You may be missing important clues that can help keep you safe.
If you are receiving unwanted e-mails, spam or feel the content of the discussion is inappropriate, harmful or hurtful let us know.
If users are not respecting the guidelines set out for this website they can be banned from further posting.
Enjoy your time on the discussion board and in the chat room!