Hi Readers — How I love being an “online influencer.” It means I get a ton of press releases from folks seeking publicity, including one that just came in suggesting I interview a particular “social media expert” regarding “How to Protect Your Family from Social Media.”
I guess if this were a generation or two earlier she would have been offering advice on “How to Protect Your Family from The Telephone,” and before that, “How to Protect Your Family from the Telegraph,” or maybe cave drawings. Because, clearly, people communicating with each other is something inherently dangerous.
The expert’s expertise includes, according to the press release:
· How to protect your children from the dangers lurking on social media. ["Lurking." Love it! So old school!]
· How to best inform your kids about online predators. [Something weird about that verb, "inform." Inform is what you do when you tell your kids there's a sale on sneakers at the mall. "Inform" them about predators and the predators become a given fact: "Kids, if you go to the internet of course you're going to find a bunch of predators. That's just the way it is."]
· Things you should and should NOT post online such as:
. “We’re going on vacation!” — An open invitation for burglars. [No? Really? Why did no one ever mention this tip before?]
. Photos of the interior or layout of your home – a roadmap for would-be intruders.
That last bullet point is really why I’m posting this. Photos of your home are going to assist burglars in finding their way around the otherwise completely confounding and complex layout of your home? I just love the idea of an intruder intently studying the photos of your ranch house — “Let’s see. I’ll take a left at the dining room and that takes me into the kitchen. Wait, no, I take a RIGHT…” When I’m in a hotel and there’s a map of the emergency exits posted near the elevator I can never even figure out which way is the staircase and which way’s the ice machine. But post photos of a couple of rooms on your Facebook page and suddenly Barry the Burglar is planning his heist like those guys in Brussels.
Ah, what a lot of expertise I’ve been offered to share! But as I just learned, I must beware of social media. Perhaps the expert is one of the many predators lurking! In the interests of keeping us all safe from this scary possibility, I am not printing her name. – L.
Expert advice: Dig hole, insert family’s collective head. Now you’re safe!