So, the big buzz this weekend was the attack on agent Pam van Hylckama (Larsen Pomada Literary) Hear about it? In a nutshell, she was in her car, preparing to pick up her daughter, and some guy broke off her side mirror, reached in and pushed her forcefully into her steering wheel before her dog attacked him. Turns out, the nut job was a writer that had queried her and whom she had rejected.
How did he know how to find her? According to the Los Angeles Times, “she's one of those people who has been comfortable living online, using Twitter, Facebook, and the check-in app Foursquare. And that may have been the problem…it may have just been that living so openly online may have allowed her attacker to track her down.”
First, let me say that in no way do I think this makes the attack HER fault. There’s obviously something wrong with psycho writer and I hope he stays behind bars or in some facility for a long time. But the article by the LA Times and then a response post by agent Jennifer Laughran certainly got me thinking about online privacy, how much I choose to share with others. And whether or not that’s a good thing.
How much of your life do you live online?I know at least a couple hours of my day are devoted to email and blogging and Facebook and Twitter. It’s a reality for many people. But gosh, we’re so…PUBLIC these days. Texts can get forwarded to an entire school faster than my daughter can type one, people I barely know are sharing some pretty intimate pics on Facebook and Twitter, check-ins and status updates can pin down locations of mere acquaintances.
And while there are certain things I WON’T share, there are probably certain things I shouldn’t divulge either. I’m guilty of sharing pics of my family on here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. My husband “checks us in” to events and restaurants for our entire Facebook families to see. I am somewhat cautious when it comes to posting about vacation—most often I don’t even talk about them until I’m back home. But most people know I live in Eastern NC and near the beach. Could someone find me if they really wanted to? Probably.
Scary stuff. How much sharing is too much? Do we just not share anything at all? Personally, I’ve met some pretty awesome people through blogging and Twitter, and there are certain things (pics, exciting news,…) I want to share with them.
In response to Friday’s events, Jennifer Laughran said, “you can't really predict or protect against a stranger snapping on you. And you can't live your life in fear.”
So, what are your thoughts? Have YOU seen these articles? Heard this news? Pam van Hylckama Vliegv has since limited her online time. Does this make you want to cut back on yours?