Monday, January 04, 2010

Using the Schwartz to Combat TMI

Non-photography topic--TMI: How much is too much information?

Social media can be a great tool for business and personal use. There are a million blog posts singing the praises of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. But why must we all broadcast every detail of our lives to the world? Aren't some things better left in the private sphere?

We're a society obsessed with safety, from anti-bacterial soap to air bags to home alarm systems and wearing helmets on the ski slope. We show zero tolerance for kids who have toe nail clippers stowed safely in the trunks of their cars. Yet when we get online, we gush uncontrollably about the most private moments of our personal lives. No one cares about the espresso double shot you just scored at the Starbucks drive-thru. That is TMI.

But there is a growing class of people who DO care about such things. They like to read about how you are on vacation in Fiji for a month. They love to know your birthdate, social security number and home address. They like to read up on every personal account they can about you. And trust me, you don't want these people in your life. Let's be smarter out there and assume that whatever you put online CAN and MAY very likely get read by someone you don't want.

Some suggestions for your 2010 online experience:

1) Don't accept a friend request unless you are absolutely sure who they are.

2) Be very leery of Facebook requests--often these are phishing attempts to steal your login and password. Always get in the habit of checking the URL bar to see the true web address of the site asking you for your login information.

3) Don't respond to a Nigerian email solicitation telling you that only you can help them claim a $10 million lottery prize. (On that note, don't board a flight with a young Nigerian male who paid $3000 cash for his ticket, checked no luggage and whose father reported him for Jihadist ties and is wearing holy underwear, Batman.)

Wishing you all a wonderful 2010--ring it in with peace and joy. And love your neighbor just do so wisely. And may the Schwartz be with you!