Today, sharing every moment of our life through photos and videos has become a world-wide phenomenon. Some social media apps also provide users with the ability to stream live videos, such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Streamup, YouNow, Hang w/, Livestream, Stringwire, Ustream, Meerkat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. The mobile app consumer base encapsulates literally billions of smartphone owners who use these apps daily for personal and business purposes.
Consider how much information people provide to strangers daily about their activities and plans. This technology stimulates people emotionally or allows them to obtain approval when they cannot find it at a more personal level. On the other hand, the same technology may also limit the amount of face-to-face interaction people share. There are clear pros and cons to social media apps. Ultimately, how we use them determines the impact they have on our lives.
However, have you ever wondered how many crimes have been committed through social media, drawing on information from victims’ posts? Every crime is not a scam forcing you to buy something or an attempt to gain access to your bank accounts. Some crimes are based on the opportunity and information that you kindly provide to your contacts on your social media accounts. In other words, are you giving criminals a calendar, a map, and a key to your possessions?
Let’s look at several instances of how such behavior could impact a person’s life.
Showing off Your Good Fortune
Some of the most common posts on social media are of people displaying copious quantities of cash, shopping at high-end stores, or making other high-end purchases. We all enjoy the feeling of having extra cash or acquiring something we have always desired. But is it a good idea to post this information on social media? In December 2017, one of my friends posted videos money of her with large sums of money on Instagram and discussed her plans for shopping the next day. After she finished shopping, she found out that someone had entered her car and stolen all her Christmas gifts.
When you post a video on social media, most people can obtain your location. Honestly, it’s not difficult to identify an apartment complex, hotel, or public area in a video or photo, especially for people who live in the area. You must remember everyone who follows you does not have the best of intentions. I would strongly advise everyone to refrain from posting such material. This also applies to posting a walkthrough of your home. Individuals desperate from financial struggles may interpret your posts as the answer to their problems.
Everyone Follow Me
Many of the social media apps were created to allow people to connect with friends and family as well as to build business networks. At some point, it became more beneficial for individuals to establish a new form of popularity by seeing who could gather the most “followers.” How often does a person communicate with every person who follows them on their social media platforms? My Facebook page has 64 friends—they are either family members or former military friends. This number is small in comparison to some people, who have anything between 400 and 5000 friends. Granting free access to your profile may result in you and anyone linked to your profile receiving ample scam messages.
If you have elected to make your profile open to obtain a large following, then seek out those who can inspire and motivate you. Select profiles of people exploring unusual parts of the world, activism in a cause you support, or intellectual content that challenges your thinking.
Sexy and Revealing
One of the greatest challenges of social media is obtaining new followers while sustaining the interest of your followers. People attempting to acquire a larger fan base have resorted to posting more adult content. If you follow some profiles on social media, you will notice photos and videos that touch the boundaries of pornography. Although some apps are equipped with parental restrictions, they are not 100 percent effective.
Before you decide to post any type of “sexy” or revealing material, you might want to think again. Many people believe they can protect their photos from being shared. This is true to a certain degree. On the other hand, it doesn’t stop a person from taking a screenshot and editing out the rest of the screen. Videos are not much safer either—anyone with access to video editing software most likely has access to a feature called “PC screen record.” This allows a person to record any video or material playing on their computer screen to use in other applications.
Sometimes I wonder if people forget the purpose of social media, which is to share information. Anytime you post sexual or revealing images, rest assured someone is sharing this material with others. Can you imagine applying for a job and discovering that your perspective employer has seen revealing photos or videos of you?
Social media can be a wonderful resource if used responsibly. Using this platform in a manner that reflects negatively on you can affect your employment. Use social media as a way to enhance your knowledge of other cultures or as a way to inspire others.
Here are some other ways to use social media.
• Business Networking
• Promoting community awareness
• Meeting people who share your interest in the arts/music