Social Media Exposes Us to Too Much, Too Often

A tragic story (http://www.thenanfang.com/blog/girl-murdered-in-shenzhen-some-on-weibo-are-pointing-finger-at-social-media/) has surfaced in Shenzhen, China that some say points to the danger of broadcasting one’s location on social media channels.

Social networking is everywhere. We post tons of intimate details about our lives that we normally wouldn’t share with anyone. We think that as long as we make sure our privacy settings are set correctly that we are safe and snug within our circle of friends. The problem is that we never know who’s really looking at our information. Our friend’s Facebook account could have been hacked when they installed some rogue application, or their creepy uncle might be using their account because they forgot to log out. We also have many strangers as friends who have access to our information.

There are a lot of people who love the location tagging feature on Facebook that allows them to let people know where they are. The problem is that you have just told everyone that you’re on vacation (and not at your house). If you add how long your trip is then thieves know exactly how much time they have to rob you. My advice is not to provide your location at all. You can always upload your vacation pictures when you get home or text your friends to let them know how jealous they should be that you’re sipping an umbrella drink while they toil away at work.

Based on the potential dangers of social media, my questions are:

  1. Do you think  Children should not be using the social media without some form of parental supervision or protection?
  2. What other things do you think we should not post on our social media?
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7 thoughts on “Social Media Exposes Us to Too Much, Too Often

  1. In my opinion, parents should guide children through these cases in order to let children know the potential dangerous of expose to the public too much. Tell them the serious consequence and they will understand and be careful. Other things such as never tag location at home, set Facebook privacy, do not expose your children’s names and photos are also helpful. Social media should be used as information and fun center, not leaks.

    Zheng Xu

  2. Yes, I think that children should absolutely have supervision when it comes to social media use. I don’t think it needs to be wildly strict or prohibitive, but children need to understand the risks associated with sharing your information. When I was a kid, we had to take typing and computer courses – perhaps social media use should be discussed in those classes and case studies examined. I think a major issue with people’s social media use is the speed of it – we don’t always think before we post because sometimes we maybe want to be the first to share something or we just don’t consider where we’re eating dinner etc. to be a secret – but that sort of carelessness and lack of discretion is exactly what can lead to these types of problems. Although it’s kind of tricky, because the ability to connect with people you don’t know on a personal level is often the value of social media in the first place – so does limiting it take away from that?

  3. I agree that it is necessary to educate children of the dangers of sharing your information. From their point of view they want to connect with their friends, and may not take into consideration who else this information is available to and what they can do with that. Having a class for them as the previous commenter suggested could be a great idea.

    As far as for our personal use I do think that posting your vacation details could pose harm to your house. Even if you have friended someone years ago who you may not know so well, they can take advantage of the information you post. I think it is important to think about who you allow to see your page, keep it up to date with who you are still friends with, and understand that there are still ways for people to get your data.

  4. Well such activities generally don’t resonate with everyone but there are still handful of people who like to let people know about their whereabouts every time they step out of their house. Yes, social media has become announce-i-am-on-a vacation service because as I mentioned in one of my blogs it is satisfying one of humans primal urge to talk about themselves. But if one is careful about what you post and the kind of social circle you build, you can be sure to find your home in the same condition as you left before the vacation.
    Regarding educating children, my personal opinion is social media has caused more harm than good to children. I have my nephew who has more than 1000 random friends on Facebook and posts pictures even if he is out sipping coffee at a local coffee joint. The idea of being cool and the level of standards have definitely changed on the social media space and I think has hampered the self image of children who often end up comparing and competing to be cool.I don’t know how many real friends he has but I see him chatting, browsing other profiles,uploading pictures and liking every picture that is posted for a barter of another like when he posts something and I think its a waste of time.I ask him go and play some sport or study but the competition is so intense on the social media space that he has to keep up and devote considerable amount of time at this age. I feel parents must monitor their kids until they reach an age where they are smart enough to decide what is good and what is not. And also watch their kids for the kind of people they interact or befriend. They can also educate their children that they are unique in their own special way and must not try to fit in or mold according to what everyone is doing and compare themselves with others.

  5. I absolutely think children should have some sort of parental control when using social networks. Not only shouldn’t children be allowed to post whatever they want, but they shouldn’t be exposed to certain things. Unfortunately, social networks can sometimes be unpredictable in what users can see, so some safeguards should be put in place.

    In terms of personal use, I don’t really think it’s right for me to tell someone else how to use social networks. If I find someone’s habits annoying, I can just hide their posts or stop following them.

  6. While I do agree that children should be exposed to certain things that social media provides, I don’t think it is necessarily up to the social media platform itself to be in charge of that. It is the parents and the children themselves that need to be aware of what is going on. Parents should talk to their kids and know how to change the settings of social media to make it safer for their children.

    I personally don’t like the applications that tell people where I am at all times. I don’t always want people to know where I am, whether I know them or not. I do change the settings on every social media platform so that only the people I want to see, see my information. Another easy way to avoid people knowing where you are is DON’T POST ANYTHING THAT WILL TELL PEOPLE WHERE YOU ARE!

  7. I believe children should have some supervision when using social media. Social media is a double edged sword. Lack of education and improper use of social media could cause harm to children. I think it is OK to post the location when you are traveling but it is definitely not a good idea to expose your home address onto social media. Also, I don’t recommend posting personal stories and feelings on social media. It may cause trouble. Interestingly, I noticed that Weibo (Chinese Microblog) has a new function called intimate circle that enables you to invite your close friends into that circle and share content only the people in this circle could see and comment on. In a nutshell, I believe everyone should learn to use social media properly so that it will make us feel connected and enrich our lives.

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