A pair of art thieves was busted last week. Do you know how they were caught? They had signed into the museum’s visitor book at the entrance with their names and phone numbers. Not only that, they wrote as their email wedidn’firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might think that this is a simple example of some really stupid thieves. But I think it is more than that. I think this is another example of how social media is invading our space. I know, I know, a museum’s visitor book is a pretty low tech and old school version of social media.
But we (as a culture) have developed a need to share everything we do, as if an event doesn’t happen if it doesn’t appear on some social media channel or other. My good friend Moin has posted some excellent philosophical takes on the problem. The need to share compelled these two just like the other stupid thieves who post photos of their crimes on Facebook or Instagram.
I guess we can look at the silver lining that our social media addiction makes it easier to catch criminals. But when the rest of us do it, I think it shows a symptom of something wrong with our emotional health. We need the approval of others more than ever before.
- We aren’t smart unless we post a thought and get comments that it is smart
- We aren’t happy unless we post a photo of some fun event and get Likes
- We didn’t have a good meal unless we post a photo of the food and get comments of “Yummmm”.
You get the idea. Now how do we cure it?