Social media sites occupy a majority of people’s time. A study by Mediakix found that the average person will spend more than five years of their lifetime on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat are no longer just easy ways to stay in touch with friends and family all over the globe. They have become useful sources for authorities to track suspects and detect crime; even being used as key evidence in criminal cases.
The Risks of Social Media
Police use social media as an important tool in investigating cases, and it looks like the future will find it even more useful as these platforms keep evolving. As you know, one posted comment is in the world forever. You can delete it from people’s news feed but it can still be located and used against you.
Say you were very angry at a fast food restaurant for taking forever to get you your food, then getting the order wrong, and being very rude when you ask for a refund. You tweet, “I might as well shoot everyone at [restaurant], they are so inept. I’d be doing them a favor.”
Turnouts: An employee just so happens to have gone to high school with you and reads the tweet. They could take that to the police as a threat. Or, your threat could come up on the police social media monitoring program. These are supposed to be in place to try to prevent disasters like school or workplace shootings an terror attacks.
It’s legal to think things like that in the heat of the moment but once you calm down you remember how horrible actually doing something like murder is. Police take any perceived threat seriously these days, so in everybody’s best interest think before you hit “post.”
Be Careful What You Write
It’s not just teens that need to be educated on this, although they obviously do. People from most age groups, ethnicity, and genders post stupid stuff. Teens and young adults need to be careful not just about writing harmful threats but also pictures they post; these things can not only bring legal trouble but also ruined reputations, inability to attend college, vocational school, or find a good job. Older adults can face problems like getting fired or evicted as well.
Social media should be a place to share happy and exciting parts of our lives as well as a great place to air our grievances, but there is a polite way to do that.