Sorry social-medialites, perhaps it's time to retire a few online behaviours...
What do we mean?
Get on the old Instagram machine right now (of Facebook or whatever your personal poison is for social media...) and enter the 3-character code to the nearest international airport and select that location.
Perhaps you can see it already?
We're back in Toronto today, so we'll just enter #yyz into the search box and look at the "places" tab, here is a little slide-show gallery of what we encountered among the first 60-70 posts and edited for the privacy of those not conscientious enough to do so themselves.
We've added everything in green in effort to thwart our own participation in the unintended or illicit sharing of too much personal information
We're guessing you're seeing something similar. Our favourite is front and centre, the gentleman proudly displaying his business class boarding pass (see why below).
"It's only social media"
But what's wrong with that? That's just Instagram, that's the coolest way to show how much of a jet-setting lifestyle you live!
Go ahead and declare us behind the times, but what happened to personal security?
Identity theft gold
Sharing your passport cover, not so bad, but your full name as it appears on that very passport?!?
This is identity theft gold!
As a matter of security, airlines can't divulge who has or has not checked onto a flight unless there is a specific circumstance involving unaccompanied minors.
You don't suppose there's a very good reason for that, do you? That someone in the past had a series of bad experiences after strangers figured out who had or had not boarded???
Yes, there are countless sites which will allow you to track flights, we're aware, but they don't tell you who's on them!
Who's watching your stuff, Carmen San Diego?
It's all fun and games to check in somewhere exotic and show the world how incredibly interesting your feed is... but who's watching your stuff, Carmen San Diego?
What better way to announce your absence and a potentially unattended property?
Thinking about robbing your neighbours? Just follow them on Facebook and you'll know when you've got a week to clean their apartment out.
Better yet, follow that business class fella as he might have more valuable stuff to take.
So what do you do about it?
Share away on holiday, by all means.
Just think about the unintended consequence of what you're sharing. It's all harmless until it isn't.
What bigger anti-climax for your return arrival than a break-in? What headache, receiving a call from a collections agency regarding a missed payment on a credit card you didn't know you had...
Have you got a house-sitter or someone stopping in from time to time?
Make plans to have the property look "lived in" at least and don't share your travel plans among too wide a circle.
If you must flaunt your flight status, perhaps obscure the important details that could lead to a credit card being issued in your name. See image 3 (left).
Can you post the whole trip later, the day you return even?
Unless your job is social media, you probably don't need to be connected.
Why not keep a diary and share the trip when you're back as a story. Maybe use the editing features so common among social sites now to make a short video?
You never know, you may even enjoy your vacation time more by using the phone just for pictures and worry about the sharing later!