The Internet Ruined My Life

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Internet Ruined My Life TV Poster Image
Series shows dramatic consequences of online behavior.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Shows potential, real consequences of posting online.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Posters often fail to take responsibility for what they write or say online.

Violence

Threats, stalking, bullying, and the like. A rifle is visible.

Sex

Sexting, posting revealing photos; nudity blurred, blacked out.

Language

Bleeped, blurred curses.

Consumerism

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Internet Ruined My Life is a documentary-style show featuring reenactments of true stories about people who've suffered because of something they or others have posted online. Social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit are discussed, and some of the posts include blurred nudity or bleeped profanity. Stalking, threats, cyberbullying, and other violent behaviors are discussed in context. Posts including nude photos are shown, but the private parts are blacked out or blurred. It's a good conversation starting point, but the overall show sends mixed messages about taking personal responsibility for what you post online.

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What's the story?

THE INTERNET RUINED MY LIFE is a reality series that shows some of the potentially devastating consequences of sharing something online. It features dramatic reenactments of real stories about people who use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other apps and sites to interact with friends, advance activism, or just look for attention and how their posts led to being stalked, threatened, and even deported. It also shows how innocent people can fall victim to social media users who might steal their words or images to become Internet-famous. Interviews with industry experts, law enforcement officials, and others offer their insights about the events described, as well as their thoughts about what folks should consider when posting online. Footage of social media exchanges, TV programs, and streaming video also contribute to each narrative. 

Is it any good?

This reality show offers compelling but sensational stories about the various ways people's online activities can lead to very real and serious consequences. It underscores how quickly a post can go viral, and seemingly silly or harmless tweets, emails, texts, and memes can be misinterpreted and used against people online, in the world of public opinion, and even in a court of law. The willingness of people to use tweets, Facebook posts, and other social media content as justifications for, and ways of, engaging in inappropriate and illegal behaviors is also noted.

The accounts featured here are troubling, especially when it shows how some law enforcement agencies, political pundits, and entertainers perpetuate a culture that permits the victimization of people who post risky online content. However, it fails to acknowledge that while no one has the right to hurt and destroy -- or be hurt and destroyed -- as a result of a post, Internet users still must be mindful of what they're sharing (and how they're sharing it) in the digital world. Nonetheless, the overall series serves as a warning to everyone who's online.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being online. Given all the scary stories about social media and other stuff online, is the Internet a dangerous place? How can it be safe and productive for people to enjoy what it has to offer? Parents: What are some of the ways you can keep your kids safe online and help them use the Internet responsibly

  • When someone posts something online that is irresponsible or controversial, it's never appropriate to insult, attack, or make their lives miserable. But why do people who wouldn't insult, attack, or make someone's life miserable in real time do it online? What kinds of laws are in place to protect people from things such as cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and other inappropriate online behaviors?

TV details

  • Premiere date: March 9, 2016
  • Network: Syfy
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-14
  • Available on: Streaming

For kids who love real stories

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