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Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Perils of Social Media

Hi everyone,

This is a quickie blogpost I threw together
because after reading the article Paris tweeted (below),
and it struck home, BIG TIME O_o

I've always been teased as being too archaic and paranoid about
how LITTLE I choose to disclose about my private life online.

This may not go down well with some of my social media connections,
but I literally cringe at certain TMI statuses/tweets/etc.

I kid you not when I say thanks to an obsessive FourSquare-r,
I know where he banks
where he breakfasts every morning
where  he refuels his car every week...

I kid you not when I say I would never hire a certain person because she
GRAPHICALLY bitches about her work in Twitter
bashes her co-workers abilities (or lack of thereof)
shops while on medical leave...

I kid you not when I say I'm able to track a couple's fight
which began in the A.M.
and subsequently ended by the P.M.
via no less than 25 FaceBook status changes, each!

ALSO, I kid you not when I say I DON'T even need to stalk them
to know this much about their lifes!

EVERYTHING was deduced via their social media presence.

Freaky, right? +_+


An article from "socialmediatoday - Home The world's best thinkers on social media"

An Open Letter to Teens re: Social Media

Dear Friend,

We haven’t met yet IRL (in real life), but I’ve seen you online and…
we need to talk.

You are growing up in a world where privacy is an old-fashioned concept. Almost everything you do is recorded, watched or monitored somehow.

We have cameras on our computers and cell phones, in stores, parks and on the highway. We check in on Facebook and Foursquare and whatever other check-in app you choose. Your phone goes everywhere you go, and the GPS on you phone always knows where you are.

Invasion of privacy used to mean my brother read my diary or the teacher intercepted a note about a cute guy and read it in front of the class. Times sure have changed.

Maybe you’ve been on social media since before you were born. (Did your mom or dad post those ultrasound pics on Facebook or MySpace or Flikr? I thought so.) Your whole life is there.

Yes, this is your world. It seems normal, I’m sure, because you’ve never known anything else. Maybe that’s why you don’t think twice before posting that crazy video on You Tube, or using those words (yes, the dirty ones that make your mother blush) on Twitter, and “OMG, did she really say that to him on Facebook?”

You’re in a relationship with social media and “It’s Complicated.”

Most of your parents don’t get it. (Sorry parents, it’s true.)

Well, let me tell you the hard truth that you don’t like to think about:

People are watching.

That creepy guy at the mall?
Yep, he’s online and he can read your Twitter stream.

That jerk you wish you never met?
He can Google you and get your life story in a flash.

Yes, Google indexes your Facebook feeds and your tweets and lots of other things you forget about 5 minutes after you post them.

The Internet never forgets.

I heard on the news that the FCC (people who set the rules for the Internet) have decided it’s OK for people to do social media background checks.

That means that 10 or 15 years from now when you apply for that really cool job that you’ve been dreaming about since your were, oh, the age you are right now, the people thinking about hiring you can pull up all those old message you forgot about and WOW…won’t they be surprised?

Is that what you want for your future you?

What about right now?

Would you stand up in front of a million people today and do that sexy dance or act like an idiot or talk about how you drank too much when you weren’t old enough to drink at all? Really? 1,000,000 people? What about 1,000 people? Or even 15 people? Probably not.

Well, tweet about it and you have the power to reach a lot more than 1 million people. PEOPLE. YOU. DON’T. KNOW.

Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. They are. Ask former Rep. Weiner. Or Gilbert Gottfried. Lots of people saw their messages, and look where it got them.

It’s not a secret.

Maybe your mom and dad don’t know you are on Twitter. You went behind their back and created that account, so no one will ever know except the 1579 friends you’ve collected on Facebook (including the ones you’ve never met).

How many of those people are who they say they are? You can be anyone you want to be online, right? Do you really know your “friends”?

My point is that you need to be CAREFUL online.

I’m not that old, but the world sure has changed since I was a kid. People used to talk about being “street smart,” which meant that you knew a thing or two about life and weren’t likely to be taken advantage of or do something that could get you in trouble – and I mean real trouble, not just the kind where you get grounded for a week or have your phone taken away.

The new “street smart” is “social smarts.” There’s way more trouble online, just waiting for you if you’re careless. And you might not see it coming.

I’m not trying to scare you, but wake up.

Protect your privacy online. Be careful what you post. Think twice.

Would you want your grandma to see that? Then it probably shouldn’t be online.

It’s really hard to undo social media mistakes. Mom and Dad can’t bail you out. You can’t buy your way back from a bad reputation. Poor judgement will follow you, because the Internet never forgets and yes, people are watching.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of social media. It’s a great tool for sharing, communicating and staying in touch. But any tool, when it’s misused, can create a lot of damage.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Have fun, but be careful out there. Please.

Thanks for reading <3

I hope this gave you an insight on how powerful social media is, and
how it can BACKFIRE on you +_+


  1. EXACTLY!!!!!!!!! with foursquare you are actually inviting people to stalk you! damn scary! and these people.. I think the do surrounded by angles huh? they dont even know the meaning of dangerous. or I am one hell of a paranoid person... :/

  2. I couldn't agree more! This is why I don't do ANYTHING on FB, Twitter, Formspring, etc etc. The internet is scary.

  3. I knew about this in a book smart way, and now I've learned about it in a street smart way. Laying low and staying low. Thanks for this post and reminder to stay aware of your surroundings, both physically and digitally.

  4. This is so true!!!! I used to post everything online, without a second thought. But now, I would think once, think twice and sometimes even a third time. It's very scary not knowing who is viewing what you've posted, and how something you may delete later on can come back and bite you on the ass. I hope more people read this and not take it lightly ^^

  5. This is a very informative post. It's good that you point out some things here because it's true, we need to be social smart now. Thanks for this!

  6. Neither my hubbie,nor I trust to give much private info on these social networks. It is scary how vulnerable these networks make you.