Although it is a new trend to communicate "what you are doing" on twitter, or updating your status on facebook, I have a message of caution for everyone who enjoys using social networking sites.
Have people ever considered the consequences of announcing their activities over the internet? I didn't until last July. Why? Well, because my house was burglarized when my wife and I were out of town camping with freinds and family. Is it a coincidence that the first time we left the house over night in nearly a year that it was robbed? Moreoever, is this a direct result of my posting our activities all over the net?
I use a myriad of sites to stay connected with my family, freinds, fans, and followers. Sites like Twitter, Blogger, YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook are part of my daily routine as a online video creator. In an effort to stay connected, I have been participating in this digital cultural phenomenon with full dedication. In hindsight, I feel like I dropped my guard and never considered the consequences of announcing to the world that I was going to be out of town.
Everything a bad guy needs to case out possible victims is now on the internet; especially when you start factoring in the role of social networking sites and what they communicate. What you are doing and where you live can certainly be researched by a individual. Especially if one has a home business that is advertised online on top of social network sites. This sort of information is voluntarily put up by many people including myself. After all, I need to to make money, and the search for more clients never ends. It's not intentional, and many times it's information that I only intend for those I trust, but this mix and mesh of business and pleasure seems to have developed a gray area I never considered.
Ok, so by now you are probably wondering what happened exactly. The robber broke into our house through a side window away from our street. Once inside, this jerk stole our Playstation 2 stuff, Game Cube stuff, Amies jewelry, some of my editing software, and worse of all...my Macbook Pro. My Macbook was loaded with several video projects including everything pertinent to my new business that is still in development called GurillaTV. Luckily I was able to recover everything missing, but it was a real setback. Not to mention the $8,000 of things taken away from us.
I don't know, and probably will never find out how this scumbag knew we were going to be gone. But I can assure everyone out there that I am NOT going to announce personal information over the internet that could aid in our harm ever again. For the average person the internet is their freind, but information in the wrong hands can also make the internet their enemy.
This posting was originally put up back in July of 2009 on my chappyshowcase blog. Now i am reposting it on this site. Since then, a site called http://pleaserobme.com/ has gone up. It is a great site that really spreads awareness about the dangers of saying too much online. Essentially this site spreads the message of individuals who are saying "please rob me now"; based on their online activities. ABC news recently interviewed me because they read this blog. I never would of thought I would be speaking about such a subject. Who would of thought?
I've made my peace and I hope this blog has given a new perspective to everyone and how they incorporate social networking sites into their lives.