One of my friends has a secret social media account. She posts stuff there she doesn't want anyone she knows to know about. It's a cathartic experience for her where she can let slip all the dark, nasty, painful things she's experiencing as a teenager. I don't think it's healthy, but I'm doing my best to pick my battles. But since she didn't want me to know about it, I just had to know about it. Yeah, I'm that guy.
"You know," I said, "you may want to remove your picture from your profile."
She looked at me blankly.
"If you don't want people to know who you are, putting your picture on the account isn't a great way to keep it hidden."
The profile picture has since been changed.
This is just a friendly reminder to be careful what you post online. I'm sure you never divulge any personal information or anything like that, but maybe it's time to remind your kids or friends about the simple fact that the internet is public. Even Facebook. Or, did you not hear about all those privacy concerns some crazy conspiracy theorists have been ranting about?
This warning isn't new. I've seen videos and posts and even websites dedicated to urging people to think before they post.
But then some guy -- I looked at the list of his other videos and I'm not planning on watching them -- does the obvious: Look at your social information and then go up and talk to you like he knows you.
And people flip out.
If you're interested, check out the SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERIMENT video.
I get it. The world's a big place and few of us have stalkers who would go to the trouble of looking us up. I mean, I've been to several homeschool conventions, have my picture and name all over the internet, and, like, four people have recognized me. (Hi, friends!) And if someone as amazing as me <cough> can't get noticed, I can see why others wouldn't think they'd be noticed. Worse, as a blogger, I know how it can feel like no one notices you exist.
But the fact remains: The internet is public.
Don't get paranoid. The NSA already has everything it needs on you. <smile>
Just think before you post. ...or "Like" something that could be used against you in a court of law.
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Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian