This rather long conversation took place, when somebody, made a post on Facebook, and individuals started up first sitting on opposite sides of the fence on the issue, then eventually agreeing not to disagree.

Here is the post .

Many People Tell All Their Life Stories On Facebook. They Are So Overwhelmed With Joy About Positive Developments About Their Children, The Feel Incomplete Without Announcing On Social Media. They Can’t Resist The Temptation Of Announcing Their Trips (Local & Overseas) On Social Media. In Fact, Every Stage Of Their Life Journey Is Confidently Announced. When Are We Going To Be Wise? An African Adage Says, Not All Clothes Should Be Dried Out In The Sun To Dry

How Come People Can’t Discern The Potential Dangers In Their Acts?. A Word Is Enough For The Wise.

There is this guy who thought that the idea of posting personal things online is just a trend and is neither bad nor good, but simply a matter of how things roll now.

Hear him.

It’s a generational thing. There is nothing right nor anything wrong in this. It’s the Cycle of Life! Our generation does things that would make our grandparents turn in their graves. And we think we are right(eous)! Their generation most probably did the same. Life wasn’t better before. Life was just different. Life evolves. The Young Grows! The old dies. .. life moves on.

The one who posted this thoughtful piece responded thus:

The holy books admonishes us to listen more and speak less.

There are material and spiritual implications to lack of discretion in all matters, and that’s the import of my message.

A prudent man conceals knowledge, But the heart of a fool proclaims foolishness

His position for the need for discretion was corroborated by the following: submission

A friend traveled to his country home over the weekend for a function. I could deduce this because his driver had his phone set to display his (driver’s) location… on Facebook. Once I saw that his driver was located in the same town where the country home is sited, it didn’t take an Einstein to know where this my friend was., at that point in time.

Note, if somebody was planning a kidnap, for instance , he would know that the guy was in town that weekend (he is not based there). I actually called his attention to this. And he thanked me for it.

So, we need to exercise a lot of caution with information we (or close people) reveal, whether online or offline..

This was swiftly counteracted by:

In 19th Century London people were afraid of cars as they were introduced on the streets along horse_drawn carts. They were also afraid of leprosy. Neither things are of concern today!

Statistically your friend is much more likely to die on a trip to and from his location than being kidnapped during the same period. In fact the odds of a fatal accident happening are astronomically greater!!!

Should he not travel, then?

This opinion was negated thus:

If we are not afraid of cars, then we should be! More people die in car accidents than all other causes of fatalities know to humanity.

And yes, you should be afraid of leprosy too. That’s actually why lepers are quarantined.

I think the point is, there are risks we should not deliberately expose ourselves to. The level of the risk, or the statistical likelihood is tangential to this discussion . The focus is, are there avoidable risks? If a risk is avoidable, why expose yourself to it, unnecessarily?

The one who felt everybody should be left to bear the consequence of their (foolish) action continued to insist:

Being adults, they are aware of the danger and it’s not for you, me, or anyone else to patronise them by believing that you can do better risk assessment!

Your prejudice is that you believe that certain things are risky, and that so called “common sense” should prevail in the avoidance of such risks.

The truth is that life is intrinsically risky. People therefore choose what risks are worthwhile to them.

Everyone of us, including you and I, subconsciously do this every moment of our lives!

That you don’t agree with some people’s choice is nothing more than personal bias.

That people now transmit their movements to thousands of people is due to technological advances. They choose to do so, in full knowledge that their action may have risks.

To them the benefit they get from it outweighs the risk. As such no amount of patronising advice will change their behaviour.

To get them to do that you will have to show them a benefit rather than point out a risk.

A recent experiment was undertaken where a room full of PhD holders were asked about risks to living. It was assumed that since they were in the top 0.0001 percent of the educated world populace, they would always make the best decisions possible.

Interestingly enough it turned out that a large percentage smoked, and a similarly large percentage were obese, caused by over snacking.

Married couples have unprotected sex, and then express surprise that they are having more children, that they will struggle to bring up. The orgasms in the extremely very short term, clearly outweighed their common sense.

People drive fast on motorways, and end up having accidents because they can’t avoid the car in front, when it goes out of control, despite knowing what the safe braking distance is at any speed.

The fact that they had no life insurance, and their demise would cause great hardship to their families, did not cause common sense to kick in!

People write down their passwords on pieces of paper, after, having lost the passwords, which caused them to be hacked, because they believe passwords are hard to remember, despite the common sense that it could happen again!

Knowledge of risks, has never, and will never, change of peoples’ behaviour when the perceived benefits to the individual outweigh the risks.

Free will is part of the definition of being an adult!

And all the pontificating in the world can’t change that!

Why? Because ultimately free will, not common sense, prevails!

And there appears finally to be a gradual confluence of opinion, viz

You show the benefit of something by pointing out the risk.

What’s the benefit of pointing out to a child that he should always look before crossing a (busy) road? The benefit is, he lives to cross roads another day!

Of course people take foolish steps. Pointing out the foolishness is a matter of logic. Taking the advice is a matter of prerogative! And there is nothing condescending about pointing out foolishness to an adult. Choices.. That’s what makes the world spin on its axis. Yes, we can agree on that

Somebody else chipped in his own opinion thus:

Concerning this issue of choice. I thinking this is about cost / reward analysis.

Your ego trip on having people see and comment on your postings on social media versus the latent unimaginable associated risk. This is not in dispute.

Now, depending on your personal constitution, you may choose the ego trip over personal safety. Your choice.

But even in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs , safety ranks higher than self esteem / social approval. You need to be safe and be alive, first, to go on an ego trip (or any other trip for that matter)

The issue of commonsense not being common was emphasized by this comment

As pointed out before, all the religious, intellectual, social, or any other type of pontification can do nothing more than explain, and possibly predict a situation. It can not influence it.

What actually happens, has always been and always will be a result of a person exercising free will… moreover free will has never kowtowed to common sense.

And that’s why we say, he who has ears, let him hear. Choice. And, like we said, this doesn’t take anything away from commonSENSE being the SENSible course of action for a SENSible person

My personal view is , we should be extremely careful about the information we release / post online. The personal details given out in real life doesn’t even have as much potential consequence as the ones posted online.

The internet never forgets. And your information is often just a fee keystrokes away, through a simple search , and similar facilities, online.

Discretion is key !!


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