I’ll Leave The Door Open

24 02 2010

I grew up in Chicagoland. Which is another way of saying we were always paranoid someone was going to steal everything that wasn’t bolted down. We locked ourselves in the house. Every car door was locked. The garage door was down and locked.

See a pattern here?

Heck, even though I am a rural dweller these days, I still find myself locking things down. All the time. I guess I am just a creature of habit.

But I also Tweet and Facebook. Which is another way of saying, “Hey, my life is an open book. Turn a few pages.”

That’s why social networking sites scare me that they could easily be used as an invitation to crime. The more you post, the more the world knows about your comings and goings, to the point that PleaseRobMe.com is now scanning the Twitterverse and location-based social networking sites like FourSquare and BriteKite looking for foolhardy folks who say things like “left home.”

Would you guys like some help loading my TV in your truck?

While I post lots of stuff online, I am careful in how I phrase things. I often time-shift my entries so that I am already home from whatever activity I am tweeting about; or, there are other people at home when I say I am in a specific location.

Of course, old-school criminal methods like just casing a joint from across the street have not gone away, nor have they lost their effectiveness. Most USAmerican homes are empty between 8:00am and 5:00pm anyway, making them all prime burglary targets. But to take the time to invest in locks and programmed lighting systems to make it look like you are home is just silly when you tell everyone you’re vacationing in Cancun for the next two weeks. And I suppose we can never fully stop invasions of occupied residences, like what happened in Canyon a week ago.

While many of us have agreed to the new Public Persona resulting from web-based activities, it’s time we all start thinking like big city folks and lock the doors. All of them. Twitter. Facebook. You name it. Because someone’s watching.

Dr “Left Home For SBUX…But Then Again, Maybe I Didn’t” Gerlich


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