In the early 2000s, a person with access to the internet was considered tech-savvy. Today, this is not even a question worth asking. Everyone’s online and on social media, and that’s just how things are. Naturally, with so much use, people have grown accustomed to the internet. This means that some activities that were previously considered risky no longer have that effect on people.
As a disclaimer, we’re not suggesting that any of these activities are 100% safe or that nothing wrong could happen to you if you decide to pursue them. We’re merely suggesting that people are more open to these activities (or they, at least, see them as less suspicious). In other words, this is not a discourse on the level of security of these activities, just a public perception.
With all of this cleared up and out of the way, here are the top six online activities that are no longer seen as risky as they were in the past.
Table of Contents
1. Online dating
Meeting someone you only know online in real life is no longer as stigmatized as before. While there was always a need for online dating, what people lacked were examples – success stories. Today, you have a lot of people who met online, had successful relationships, and even started families.
The thing is that people spend so much time indoors. About 12.5% of people work remotely full-time, while roughly 28% work from home in some capacity. Why is this significant? Well, mostly because they no longer have the opportunity to meet with people at work, during the commute, or even on a coffee break.
Even people’s social life has evolved in a different direction. You probably have a lot of friends that you chat with daily but seldom ever see in person. This lowers the number of opportunities to meet somewhat even further.
Ultimately, people sometimes need to try things on their own. Well, during the pandemic and the lockdowns, this was the only way for them to meet someone new. This means that a lot of people tried it out and figured out that there’s nothing difficult or scary about it.
2. Online shopping
People prefer buying things in person. When they visit the shop, they can see the item, check how it feels in their hand, pay for it, and walk out with it after they’ve paid. There’s so much uncertainty when shopping online.
First of all, there’s a whole category of memes about people who bought items on social media or online stores and then received something else entirely. The meme format is quite simple; you get the advertised vs. delivered as a side-to-side comparison, and the effects are often quite staggering.
Then, there were the questions of paying online for a product you had no guarantees of receiving.
Fortunately, today, this is no longer the case. With so many brands running official stores, brands with incredibly strong social proof, and payment on delivery, things are a lot more relaxed. In other words, it no longer takes courage to order online since the trend is already huge and many safeguards are in place.
If anything, e-commerce has opened up so many new opportunities and possibilities for consumers all over the globe.
3. Investing in cryptocurrencies
In the past, only a handful of people had enough courage to invest in cryptocurrencies. However, after a few BTC explosions, massive adoption, and the fact that digital money is now mainstream, this is no longer the case. Lists of popular cryptocurrencies are regularly updated, and everyone hopes that they’ll be the ones to discover the next Bitcoin.
This initial suspicion is hardly anything out of the ordinary. Namely, the first cryptocurrencies came to be in 2008, meaning they’re a newcomer to the market. Compare this to stocks that have existed for centuries or precious metals that have been used as stores of value since the dawn of civilization, and you’ll see exactly how short the amount of time we’re talking about is.
Still, the idea that there are people out there who bought BTC for $1, or $5, or $10 per coin and cashed out when it was $21k or $60k is just too wild to grasp. Still, it really happened, and you have so many crypto millionaires spreading their success stories. Sure, some may argue that this is a survivorship bias, but it’s undeniable that it worked for some people.
4. Using smart home devices
In the past, people were suspicious of smart home devices. This is true for any technology (or any prototype). The first version is often laggy, buggy, and unreliable, which is enough to earn it a bad reputation. A lot of people just give up and stop paying attention. Then, they return after a while and can’t believe just how reliable this new version really is.
Then, there’s the issue of connection speed and reliability. The thing is that smart home devices depend on the stability of the network. When the network works as intended, they are just perfect. However, when it’s out or lagging, a regular device is far more reliable.
Then, it’s not just the hardware or the internet – it’s the software development, as well. The fact that there are so many smart home apps and that the integration is so reliable can make all the difference in the world.
Ultimately, there’s the issue of cybersecurity. The idea that a hacker can steal your data is unsettling, but the idea that they could switch lights in your room, turn off your fridge, or unlock your door in the middle of the night is outright terrifying.
5. Using public Wi-Fi
There are some common cybersecurity tips that everyone knows by heart. You shouldn’t download files you don’t recognize, avoid clicking on dubious sites, use antivirus, etc. One of these tips is to avoid using public Wi-Fi; however, this is not always easy to do.
The thing is that we’re often reliant on Wi-Fi in coffee shops, airports, and public spaces like parks and squares. Is this safe? Well, not exactly; however, it’s not that unsafe, either. You see, public Wi-Fi, in today’s world, is not seen differently than a public fountain or a public restroom.
In fact, in some countries, access to the internet is interpreted as a basic human right. There’s even a guideline under the World Summit on the Information Society, convening under the auspice of the United Nations, which states just how important this is. The key point to take from this is that while not everyone can afford internet broadband for their home, everyone can access public Wi-Fi.
Still, you need to understand that this is quite risky, so avoid unsecured networks, use a VPN, and watch out for suspicious hotspots.
Adoption and familiarity are antidote for fear
People fear things they don’t understand, and they’re naturally suspicious of things they’ve never previously used. Sometimes, people want others to try something out, and when there are enough reviews, examples, and social proof, they might feel free to pursue this activity. Either way, all of the above-listed activities are tried and tested. They’re here for years (perhaps even decades), and most internet users have first-hand experience (usually positive) with them. Therefore, they’re no longer as risky-looking as they once were.
I am a 26 year old young and witty girl, who simply loves to write and be around her friends. I am the one who believes in filling the heart of her readers with love, passion and contentment.