Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 45 - Death by Social Media?

What a long, strange day it's been. Yoga was wonderful this afternoon and much needed. I aced a marketing quiz and the weather is beyond beautiful, yet I feel as though I have been in a fog all day. Perhaps it's just too many projects going through my mind at once? To top off this rather weird day, I want to share a rather disturbing story - especially for anyone who enjoys blogging or spends a lot of time on Twitter or Facebook, MySpace or any other form of social media.

Last July, Renee Wathelet, a Canadian blogger living in Mexico, was found murdered in her seaside condo. Her throat was slashed and her body stabbed more than 30 times.
This 60-year-old mother and grandmother had finally realized her dream. She had blogged and tweeted friends back in Montreal a year earlier that she had become a social media consultant. She gained "featured blogger" status at the French language version of Socialmediatoday and decided she would (finally) move full-time to a favorite Mexican paradise, a small island off the coast of Cancun. IN a matter of months her blog, "Live From the Islands," which chronicled her adventures on the island of Montreal and her new Mexican home base, had taken off. She was gaining respect in the blogosphere.

In one of her final posts, Renee wrote warmly about a kind local fisherman she had met named Jose. Just 10 days after that blog entry, she was stabbed to death in her condo. Police arrested the 24-year-old boatman, Jose Garza, as he tried to flee the scene. This is another grim reminder of what is possible when social media is not maintained in the relative security of cyberspace. It's worth noting. I share this cautionary tale with you as a reminder of just how vigilant all of us - students, parents and individuals - need to be about privacy and protecting personal information.

You can never be too careful!

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