The Bad and The Ugly: 7 Negative Attributes That Come With Social Media
I love it, you love it, your mom loves it, your boss should love it. Social media is somewhat of a gift from above to a lot of us. However, nothing is ever 100% perfect, as we all know. Social media can rear an ugly head if treated the wrong way. Here are 7 ways social media can negatively affect your life.
- Theft: Since people love giving up to the second information about where they are and what they’re doing, they are also giving out info to potential thieves about when their house may be unoccupied. GPS can disclose the location of your home, if you haven’t told everyone yourself, leaving you at risk to come up to an empty abode, courtesy of your status update.
- Stalking: I mention it often because social media really is a stalker’s fantasy. People now know where you work, where you have worked, who your friends are, what places you frequent, etc. It gives people a way to find you everywhere you are.
- You’re fired: Or in some cases, not hired. If you weren’t savvy enough to hide your drunken nights photo album, there’s a good chance you have put yourself out of the running for a job, including your current one. Employers are turning to social media profiles to find out about the real you.
- Identity theft: This was huge back in the MySpace days. People impersonating others. I would always find “fake” pages of my friends, which were really strange, insecure people who used my friends’ photos, pretending to be them. It’s the new version of identity theft.
- Break up season: Social media is somewhat of a taboo with relationships. When the MySpace era came to be, relationships were started and ended with just a few clicks. Things like “Why aren’t I #1 on your top 8?”, “Why does it say you’re single?”, “Who is that girl/guy you’re friends with?”, etc. got a lot of couples heading for splitsville. Facebook is no different, especially with the “looking for” and relationship status elements of a profile. Also, be careful what photos you’re tagged in.
- Documented evidence against you: Since Congress decided to preserve public tweets, those who speak their mind often can find themselves in a world of trouble with compelling and damning evidence against them thanks to their own fingers and thumbs. People have shotty memories in court, but the Internet doesn’t lie (well, you know what I mean).
- Are you where you’re supposed to be? If you’re telling your boss or your parents you’re going to be at one place, and you update that you’re at another (heaven forbid you check-in via Foursquare) you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle.
Be cautious, update those privacy settings, and look over your cyber shoulder as creepers are always watching.
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- How to prevent “Cyber-Stalking” (matei.org)