Remember when the Motorola Razr was the “it” phone? Well, that was only seven years ago. That year Janet Jackson’s nipple became a star, MySpace was still on the underground, and our chunky iPods were filled with Twista and Chingy songs. Since then, we’ve put away our Ashton Kutcher trucker hats, ‘thefacebook’ became somewhat of a success, and Brad and Jennifer are no more. A lot has changed since 2004, and all of this new technology has given todays Bro access to new frontiers; but, as we’re starting to see, it’s also creating more opportunities to get in trouble than ever before.
New Media has put the whole world in our hands. We can stay in touch with old friends, or even have a conversation with a celebrity on social media — something that seemed impossible back in 2004. However, being accessible at all times does have its drawbacks. Privacy seems to be a thing of the past. We have the means to share every thought, joke, or picture we take with world—and take full advantage of that luxury. South Park put it best, “the bathroom is the last bastion of American freedom.” It’s the only place where we can truly enjoy privacy, these days. When you join the social media community, you are signing away your privacy rights (quite literally in the case of the new Facebook messenger app). Often, we don’t even realize (or care to look into) how each application is exploiting our privacy. Advertisers can target ads specifically towards you thanks to cache and cookies (if you’re getting a lot of banners advertising ‘Singles in Your Area’ it’s probably time to start taking it easy on the porn, bro).
Recently, a girlfriend and I downloaded the Voxer app together so we could leave cute (annoying) little recorded messages on each other’s phones. One day, we discovered that in addition to its voice recording services, Voxer also has a GPS device that allows you to see the location of the people you’re talking to. Upon discovering this, we both saw it as an unwanted invasion of privacy and must have both been on the same wavelength because we agreed to never use that part of the service (needless to mention it was an unhealthy short-lived relationship). Point is, can you imagine how many people (in serious relationships) got in trouble from this? Even if it’s not with a girlfriend and just to the homeys, sometimes, I don’t want to go out. I want to stay in, get more couch than Tim, and see how many seasons of The League I can watch in one sitting, and the last thing I need is some app to call my bluff when I lie and say I’m out of town.
Technology is changing faster than we can keep up with it. The only way to prevent getting caught being a sketchball is to not be one at all. Don’t Facebook creep on messenger (it’s not even worth the download), don’t be sliding into anybody’s DMs, watch what you text (I see you Kwame), and be cognitive with which Instagram photos you like—people can see that the only pictures you’ve given a heart to are ones of chicks in their bikinis—because these things will inevitably get you in trouble. Clear history will only remove some of your dirt, it won’t solve the problem like in 2004. Truth is, you never know when an app could have a secret GPS function, when the elevator camera is on you, or who has access to your site or cell phone pictures so act like you’re always being watched, because depending on which apps are on your phone…you actually could be.
[Image via ShutterStock]