Living your life in real time on social media is not wise.
Besides running the risk of boring people to death with snapshots of the sandwich you just ordered, a live streaming podcast of you brushing your teeth, and posting non-stop “observations” about news from the serious to the catty like motor mouth uncles used to do, you can give people way too much detail to your personal detriment.
That is why more than a few security experts believe the High Priestess of the Selfie — Kim Kardashian — may have unwittingly made herself an easy target for thieves that stole more than $10 million worth of jewels from a Paris hotel room where she was held at gunpoint.
Kardashian had been providing constant updates on Twitter, Snapshot, Instagram, and on her for-pay phone app of her every move from ordering room service to a close-up of a large diamond ring on her hand.
The incident gave new meaning to the proverb, “Pride comes before the fall.” Get wrapped up so much in yourself and you will be hurt. Modern technology amplifies character flaws just like it amplifies anything else. In Kardashian’s case, she was posting her life — that she obviously assumes is the most interesting one on the planet — to millions of people instantaneously.
This is not an indictment of Kim Kardashian’s lifestyle. Although it is a tad ironic that hubby Kayne West makes millions off rap songs that tend to glorify guns and violence and then he has a cow when some street dudes or a well-orchestrated gang uses guns. Not that he shouldn’t be angry, mind you, but he isn’t exactly rapping about law and order.
I get that 90% to 99% of what they and other celebrities do is hype to shake money out of others. And just because they do so doesn’t justify what happened in Paris.
But there is a lesson for us all.
If you venture into a large city or strange neighborhood people tend to be on their guard. Many will think of the potential of being victims of pick pockets and other crimes so they tend to be cautious.
Throwing your life out in the world — photos of your kids, video of you on vacation, the new $1,000 electronic gizmo worth $50 at a pawn shop or flea market, and information such as winning $6,000 playing the lottery — isn’t stuff you’d stop a complete stranger to tell while walking in San Francisco. Many of us do the equivalent when it comes to posting information about ourselves on the Internet complete with an electronic address.
The smart criminals — the ones that get the biggest hauls and don’t have to worry about a 20-year sentence if they are caught — don’t use guns or have to worry about casing a target.
We stop our mail and keep the lights on when we leave our homes for vacation but then we post photos as we go on the Internet.
Criminals are becoming more tech savvy. It’s important to remember that anything we use such as smartphones, Facebook, and such for legal purposes can be used for criminal purposes.
Pedophiles trying to lure victims no longer have to buy a van and a puppy from the pound and then drive around neighborhoods. All they have to do is use social media and troll the Internet from their home and then purchase airline tickets.
The ease and lack of restraint many of use when accessing social media is stunning.
What was Kardashian thinking when she was posting photos of her jewels and giving real time updates on her movements besides about how rich and fabulous she believes her life to be?
Does she really believe all million plus followers adore her and there wouldn’t be someone she was exposing mundane but fairly specific details of her life to that might be a crook?
Cattlemen in the Old West were often credited with saying, “good fences make good neighbors.” They were referencing unscrupulous folks that commander stray cattle.
The same is true of the Internet. The tech “fences” that we place around our electronic information act as somewhat of a safe guard to our property and person. The free flow, instant gratification that social media such as Instagram and Snapshot are built on offers no fences, no filters, and no reflection save for the one second it takes for you to go from texting or downloading to tap “send.”
No one deserves to be held at gunpoint and robbed. That said it is prudent not to set yourself up as an easy target.
There are still criminals and there are still people who won’t hesitate to hurt others.
Social media hasn’t changed the world.
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at email@example.com or 209.249.3519.