A recent post on this blog. Selfies – the new epidemic is the trigger for this post.
In a comment to the above post, I said
Fast forward to today, I have only uploaded one picture of myself online. Same picture for whatsapp and Facebook. Nothing else.
Someone took me on, insisting that he had seen several of my pictures online (on Facebook). Go ahead, and show me, I dared him. To my chagrin, he produced two pictures that I never imagined was online!
Thinking about it, and knowing I did not upload the pictures to my Facebook account, I remembered what happened. The brother of a friend to a friend came from Ukraine, we were in an eatery. My friend must have used my phone to upload my picture, eating junk food, to Facebook (while my Facebook was logged on) .
The point of this post is to admonish us all to be careful about what we post online. Pictures, comments.. These can be used against us much much later. An innocuous picture, video or comment has been known to be enough reason for some employers to give some employees the boot. It has lead to the arrest of some people, getting charged for sedition, incitement, etc. That lurid video of you and a lover in an intimate encounter could hunt you some day. Imagine Hilary Clinton having non salubrious pictures of some pranks during her college days coming to limelight while vying for the presidency of the United States!.
In this era of rampant kidnapping and armed robbery, a predator can carefully go through postings online to have a comprehensive dossier on you.
There is a nephrologist colleague in the United States whose every movement from airport to eatery to gymnasium gets reported on Facebook.. He once expressed amazement that his iPhone was able to predict his movement accurately at a point. That is of course because his location service is perpetually turned on ..on his device, informing the world about his itineraries.
While we can do all we can to be circumspect about informing the ‘whole world’ about our private matters, the information posted by others can inadvertently reveal details of activities we would otherwise like to remain private… a. Demonstration that privacy is really dead due to the ubiquity of the Internet.
Remember. Any useful and powerful tool can also be deployed to negative use. Let us be circumspect