As we come up on the Football Conference Championships, a host of stories around how we are viewed, tracked, identified, profiled and targeted, are hard to ignore. It makes me think about how we conduct ourselves and how our relationships with our devices and online lives are scrutinized and preserved – and it brings me to a bit of a cautionary tale around privacy and safety.
There’s a saying you all likely know, “better to be silent and thought an idiot then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” In our online social interactions, sometimes it’s better to be silent and thought to be home doing boring things, than to open up your GPS and photos and introduce – or remove – a level of doubt that could be exploited.
Smartphones, GPS and Social media provide tremendous benefits and improve our lives, whether for connections, entertainment or assistance. However, an inability to disconnect and a blind dependence on the tools for validation, direction (physical and otherwise,) rage or even assumptions about people or issues, is a recipe for monumental disaster.
As you walk around with GPS and Timelines blazing, consider:
That being said, realize that all that technology and tracking are not perfect, and anyone – including the authorities – can become collateral damage, such as:
But I come here not to bury Facebook, Apple and Google, but to cautiously praise them. Going back to my headline, the mantra for rookie players in the playoffs is to “Act like you’ve been there before.” Be professional, don’t let the situation overwhelm or confuse you, don’t do anything stupid, and do your job. As humans born of free will, we can’t become a slave to our devices. We always need to have awareness of context, of content, of connections and conduct.
That being said, it’s not the worst thing if Facebook helps us “thin the herd” a bit…