How comfortable would you be if on top of your car was a sign that had your name, where you were from, where you were going, a slide show of the party you were at this weekend, what you were doing and was regularly updated with the latest and newest information?
You may not be that interested in driving around, would you? With portable electronic devices becoming more prevalent in our society, the amount of information being shared for public consumption is rising dramatically.
“Over the last few years the consensus about privacy on the Internet seems to have changed a lot,” writes Frank Groeneveld, Barry Borsboom and Boy van Amstel for CDT.org. “A few years ago, people were still hesitant about using their real names online, but nowadays people are comfortable sharing their exact location with the whole world.”
The three are the creators of the website PleaseRobMe.com. The site’s aim is to increase awareness about over-sharing by publicly showing location-based messages. From the site, “We’re not showing the Twitter messages anymore, as they no longer add anything. If you don’t want your information to show up everywhere, don’t over-share.”
In the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford, more people are analyzing where they share information and how much of it is being made available for public consumption.
In a post on ZDNet, Violet Blue notes: “Most everyone in the wake of the Giffords shooting wants to “do the right thing” in their online behavior. But in this instance, social media and tragedy reveal monstrous behavior.”
The Please Rob Me trio asked some very important questions about the openness of social media that are even more relevant today: “Where does this change in consensus come from? Are people starting to feel too comfortable? We’re not sure, but over-sharing might result in more risk and unintended consequence than one might think, especially in the long run.”
Social media can be and has been used to have overwhelmingly positive effects, but people also need to be aware that the web has no undo button. Even if you delete something, it can still be archived, screen-grabbed and more. You shouldn’t share anything that you would want to broadcast from the top of your car.