There are two aspects to social media life that have definite links to crime. The first one, and I believe the most important, relates to victimization due to the indulgence of too much personal information over social media networks.
The second relationship is your postings on social media and how they might implicate you in crimes--at least it can show propensity to certain psychological traits that may be subject to criminal actions. This information can be used against you in a court of law.
The Danger of Too Much Personal Information
If you stand back and look at what others are posting on Facebook, Google+, and others, you have to wonder whether they are really thinking about what they are doing. When some people go to the mall to shop, as in the holiday season, they invariably take pictures and make comments while they are out using their mobile device. Now listen, how many criminals out there are reading those postings?
If I were a criminal, I'd make these specific people an intense study. Once I knew who they were, I'd find out where they live, I'd get their cell number, and I'd keep a close eye on their routines. When the time seems right, I'd sit nearby and monitor Facebook so I'd know when they are gone and when they are headed back. In the mean time, I and my criminal buds would pay their home a visit--one the social media victim would never forget.
Social Media and Self Incrimination
Now, where social media becomes a means of self incrimination. Believe it or not, people that commit crimes many times have to brag about their capers. That goes for young kids as well as some older criminals. Take for example the case of teenage girls posting of video on social media of them roasting a kitten in a microwave (see video below).
I'm sure they didn't think it was so cool once the police arrested each one of them for the crime they so maliciously committed against an innocent, living animal.
Who's next, one of their little brothers?
The Dangers of High-Tech Gadgets and too Much Social Media
All of this leads me to the next thought... perhaps social media and the high-tech gadgets we've come to enjoy, depend on, and live by are somehow causing us to lose sight of the things that should matter the most to us. The next video, which is a TED Talk video on YouTube, accents just that.
In conclusion, social media is a great means of personal communication and the high-tech gadgets we use on a daily basis are also great tools for both personal enjoyment and business use, but we need to think about what we're doing when we post personal information.
Ask yourself this one question, "If there's a criminal out there watching me, is what I'm about to post going to enable them to harm me, my family, or my home?"
We use to hear "drink responsibly" in liquor commercials, but now we should be hearing, "post responsibly" where it pertains to our online social lives.
Copyright©2014/Allan B. Colombo
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