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Clifton: The simplicity of stalking

February 13, 2019

Today, we live in a world where people put their lives on display. Sharing the highlights of our lives with complete strangers is the norm. When your day-to-day life isn’t advertised across social media, our friends and family can’t help but to wonder why.

 

Due to the growing popularity of the internet, a lack of sharing in today’s environment leads you to being scrutinized as an outsider.  

 

I see social media as a modern-day scrapbook. We use these accounts to document our lives and look back to remember all the cool things we did.

 

These accounts are more than just an online page; they’re a form of expression. We have the ability to frame our lives exactly as we would like them to be viewed.  

 

We post our best accomplishments on Facebook and tag the locations of all the popular hangouts we visit. We use Snapchat to document our lives and allow any of our viewers an inside look into our daily activities.

 

Many Snapchat users will begin recording their life from the second they wake up to the moment they decide to call it a night. Due to this excessive sharing, locating someone is practically effortless.

Many social media websites are feeding into people’s desire to locate and be located. Snapchat has added Snap Map to its app. This allows your location to be shared with any of your followers. The Snap Map is uncomfortably detailed, too.

 

You can see exactly where someone is, down to the street they are on as well as a satellite picture of the building they are in. Fortunately, the app allows you to change your settings so that you can no longer be located, but many users still have this feature on.

 

Instagram is also a huge contributor to the locating craze. Most pictures posted are usually accompanied by a tagged location.

 

Some people say that they are aware of the dangers of oversharing and try to be vigilant about the information they release. Although that will reduce your risk, there are still aspects that can often be forgotten.

 

It’s important to keep in mind that your followers can see photos that you are tagged in as well. You may be cautious about sharing your location, but that kind of wariness might not cross your friend’s mind.

 

Now, we can’t forget about Facebook. It seems like every time you log on, you are asked for additional information to complete your profile. The network wants to know where you work, the school you attend, the city you live in and even your phone number. This handful of information that may seem insignificant to you, could really help others in their search.

 

It’s important to always be mindful of the information that you are sharing online. Keeping your accounts on private or simply limiting the number of places you tag yourself at can reduce your risk of stalkers or any kind of potential harm.

 

Social media has a tremendous number of benefits for today’s public, but our safety isn’t always one of them.

 

Riley Clifton is a third-year communication major.

 

 

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