Social Media—it connects us. It lets us hang on to old friends, and introduces us to new ones. It lets us organize, socialize, and express ourselves. And, every so often, it brings out our inner idiot.
As social media becomes more popular, the line between appropriate and ridiculous becomes blurred. Where things were once private, now they are presented to the world on a platter made from a need to be noticed in the online world. Here, when everyone is yelling, only those who offer something of magnificent stupidity can truly be heard.
Last week, 20-year-old Kentuckian Michael Baker landed himself in jail. How? He siphoned gasoline from a cop car. The best part: his girlfriend snapped a quick photo of Baker in the act as he gave the camera a hearty middle finger. Perfect Facebook profile pic, no? And take one wild guess as to how the cops found out about his little crime.
Washington woman Ellenora Fulk was looking through her “People You May Know” suggestions on Facebook. You know the drill: Facebook uses its detective skills on your profile and those of your friends to see who else you might be friends with that you haven’t requested yet. One of her suggestions? A woman named Teri Wyatt-O’Neill, whose profile revealed a picture of Wyatt-O’Neill and Fulk’s husband drinking champagne next to a wedding cake. Fulk’s husband, Alan, has left in 2009 but has not divorced his wife. Mr. Fulk was then charged with bigamy. Aw yea.
But hey, it’s not just Americans doing this stuff! A Swiss woman was fired from her job at Nationale Suisse after she called in sick from work. The reason? She had a migraine, and couldn’t bear to work in front of a bright computer. As a person who gets migraines, I say, power to her. However, when her boss discovered that she was “online” on Facebook, one less person worked at Nationale Suisse. Come on, the “invisible” button is right there!
A British man, Craig Lynch, escaped from a minimum security prison in Suffolk in 2009. While on the run, this intellectual posted status updates about what he was up to: holiday plans, lunch details, the weather. He gave only enough information to taunt police, who were no doubt one of his 40,000 fans and were subscribed to his less-than-interesting news feed. He was caught in January 2010, though whether or not it had anything to do with his online fame, no one knows.
Here’s a great thing to tweet: “I still gotta warrant in pearland .. those pigs will NEVER catch me … NEVER!!!” Wait a second, no it’s not. That’s flippin’ stupid. Well, someone should have told that to 20-year-old Texan Mahogany Mason-Kelly, who had not one, but three warrants out for her arrest for traffic violations and failing to appear in court. Funny, how these things work.
In conclusion, students, be careful what you post online. Believe it or not, not everyone will laugh at your silly crime. Some people may actually do something about it.