When you share on social media, it’s tempting to want to put everything out there. After all, that’s how you grow closer to people and share exciting occurrences in your life, right? But there’s good reason to consider holding back on at least your location when you post to social sites.
First and foremost is the consideration of safety, particularly for children. When you tag a location on a post, especially if you include something specific like a restaurant or hotel name, it makes it easy for anyone to find you. If children are sharing locations, that puts them at greater risk from strangers who can easily locate them, according to Equifax. Even for adults, however, you have to remember that many people may have access to view your post, particularly if you’ve left it viewable by the public or friends of friends. That leaves you vulnerable to people you’ve never met.
Tagging your location not only reveals where you are, but also where you are not. If you’re sharing your wonderful vacation snaps, that means people know you’re not at home, according to Lifewire. While your friends may be celebrating with you, their acquaintances can also see their comments on your posts, and where you are. You may not know these people, their history, or their intentions, so you really have no idea who you are sharing your location with. And you’ve put out the information that your home is now unattended.
A way to save valuable natural spaces
A less-considered element of location revolves around protecting the environment. Some natural destinations have seen sharp spikes in visitation following posts by social media influencers or increased posting on social media in general, according to the New York Times. That can lead to overcrowding, trail erosion, and national park staffing issues. In some international cases, there are even concerns over location tagging revealing the patterns of endangered animals, leaving them vulnerable to poachers.
Some parks are asking people to post responsibly and forgo the location tag. That doesn’t mean you can’t still share the glorious photography and rave about your experience, just make others do some research to find the location. The hope is that they’ll run into information about responsible visitation and preservation during their search, according to advocacy organization, Leave No Trace.
It’s easy to just leave out the location tag on a social media post. But you can go one step farther and disable geotagging on your photos altogether. Just go into each app on your phone, including the camera, and make sure that location tracking is turned off, (via Equifax).
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