In a world where you can’t visit your favourite restaurant without checking in on Facebook, or buy a new car without sending a picture on Snapchat, the lines can become blurred where sharing your life becomes sharing too much. Especially when you have children, whose lives are run by the use of social media, it could beg the question is the internet making you a target?
A quick search of Instagram alone brings up the profile ‘RichKidsLondon’, showered with pictures of submissions from children across London sharing what the price tag is of their lifestyle. Cars, clothes and even planes are pictured across the page, displaying how much money these kids are actually worth. But are there dangers to this kind of openness?
Only six months ago on February 10th, a ‘Rich Kid of Instagram’ was allegedly attacked on his way back to London in his Rolls Royce Wraith. The two males attempted to break into Elijah Oyefeso’s car whilst he was driving to one of his properties in Lewisham. Elijah rose to fame through posting on the Instagram account, and has been very explicit in the amount he owns.
Three years ago, another ‘Rich Kid of Instagram Lord Aleem’ had four of his luxury cars torched, at the value of over £500,000. Aleem Iqbal works for his father’s luxury car hire firm and shows off about his access to the upmarket motors on Instagram.
According to GuardChild 64% of teens upload photos to social media sites. This normalises the use of living through social media for these teenagers.
The ‘RichKidsLondon’ page on Instagram describes those submitting posts as ‘untouchable’ and frequently, if not always, references back to those who submitted the post. A big part of the problem could be that those submitting these photos are unaware how vulnerable they have become.
568,000 people follow this Instagram account alone, with the average likes on each photo totaling 7,000. Many of the pictures include number plates of the cars they’re showing off, and even in many cases the front of the properties that they live in. Despite having the highest range of CCTV, does this make your house safe?
Publishing everything to social media could beg the question as to whether people are making themselves vulnerable for crimes to happen. Similarly when people go on holiday, they are advised not to post the fact to social media, as their insurance may become void, is this not perhaps the same issue here? It becomes almost a window shopping site for those with bad intentions. Many have suggested that those who are victims of crime have asked for it, because they feel the need to blast their money across social media.
So what should you do to make sure your items are protected? It seems almost unfair that you are unable to boast about what your hard work goes into, but that is one option, to cut clear anything to do with your lifestyle across the internet. If you have children, speak to them about the dangers of posting on social media, and perhaps try to convince them it’s not a good idea to splash out and share on Twitter.
For many people, this tactic won’t work, and it could actually mean your child shares without your knowledge, often causing more problems. Instead, you could include the added privacy of blurring out images, making sure any identifying factor is erased. You could post under an alias, so that others don’t know it is you apart from your close friends. Or you could make your profile private, and show what you own only to a select few.
The problem nowadays is that according to GuardChild, 39% of teens think they’re online activity is private from everyone. What needs to happen going forward is better education, and better protection put in place. Is it really worth losing what you’ve worked your whole life for for a few more likes on Instagram?