Stop before you selfie

Nile Villa
Our selfies may be revealing more personal information than we think.

MANILA, Philippines – If a picture paints a thousand words, then what about a selfie?

Since the creation of Instagram, we have slowly become branded as the “selfie generation.” We take photos of ourselves with everything, everywhere. We have left no situation unphotographed and no aspect of our lives undocumented.

We are able to live relatively public lives without having to leave the comfort of our own bedrooms. But sometimes we don’t realize what the implications of having such a public private life are. (READ: 8 Strange selfie trends: Hair Smile, Riccing, the sparrow and more)

Here are 5 – out of the countless – things that our selfies tell everyone about us:

Location, location, location

Because of an app’s built-in location feature or an obvious background, online posts make people easier to find and track. Being trackable has its good sides, obviously, because our family and all our friends know exactly where to find us when they need to. However, we must keep in mind that our posts are open to the eyes of strangers who, like our family and friends, will also know just where to find us when they need to.

Plan your plans and dream your dreams

Have you ever tweeted about scoring tickets to that awesome concert you’re super excited to watch? Or perhaps posted on Facebook about “going out alone later, feel free to join me?” Whether we mean to or not, we do reveal a lot of our plans on the Internet. This doesn’t seem like such a problem until somebody does join you and it’s not somebody you want to be with alone in a public place!

Who’s that Pokemon?

In all fairness to our generation, we aren’t completely self absorbed. We do take a lot of selfies, yes, but we also take selfies with our family and our friends, sometimes with good acquaintances, once or twice maybe even with the Pope. This one isn’t as much a security issue as it is a secret-keeping one. You never know which one of your uninvited friends will see a group photo and call friendship over or which one of your parents find out that you’re still seeing that person they specifically told you to stay away from.

Call me, maybe?

Facebook Frederick has invited you to the event “New number: 09876543210”

Twitter Tiffany replied: Still up for breakfast? Text me 09876543211

Instagram Ignatius replied: [ringback] It hit me like a canonbaaall! 09876543212

Reddit Ralph replied: The new video game arrived today. Let’s play! 09876543213

Tumblr Tauriel replied: Are you tall, dwarf, and handsome? 0987-ELFGURL

Seen by 586 people who are not your friends.

Facebook Frederick isn’t the only one who’ll be getting a few creepy messages from unknown numbers over the next couple of days. We really need to rethink our number gathering strategy.

Whoa! TMI

Of course, there are those of us who like being open books – or open secret-filled diaries. There is nothing wrong with honesty (we could use a lot more of it these days) but remember that no matter how private your privacy settings are, there are always loopholes in the system and whatever information you put out there is open to anybody who really wants to find it.

There is a phrase that goes, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Well, in this day and age, it may be more appropriate to say, “Tell me what your username is and I’ll tell you everything about you.”

If you think this article is being a little too paranoid, here’s a funny video you might want to watch:

So remember, folks: be careful about what you post online. Think before you tweet, pause before you Facebook, and stop for awhile before you selfie. –

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