I’ve started a new exercise program. It’s called “The New Puppy Program.” Since I’ve gotten a Dutch Shepherd (think Belgian Malinois, except brindle instead of light brown) I’ve had to take the puppy on long walks. She’s high energy, so a slow amble around the block isn’t going to do it. She’s getting 2.5 miles, twice a day from me and anything from a mile to 2.5 miles during the day with my wife. That means 6 to 7.5 miles of walking every day. You’d think she would be more tired!
About a week or so ago I noticed that a friend posted something to his Facebook page from a program called “Map My Walk.” I thought that was pretty cool. I like measurements. I especially like measurements that I don’t have to spend a lot of time recording. It works pretty much automagically. You turn on your phone app and start walking. I’ve use the software to make up some routes, and the program handles all the tedious record keeping. I’ve been posting my walks to Facebook, and when I started riding my bike again this week, I post the rides to Facebook as well.
Miguel, of Gun Free Zone, however, has a problem with this. He asks
is there a reason why you like to publish where is the best places to ambush you while riding a bike?
It’s a fair question, but one that takes more explanation than a Facebook comment will allow.
There are three things might be of concern about posting info to Facebook with this mapping app.
- It reveals the location of my house
- It tells you what route I take when I walk or ride
- It might tell you when I am not at home
1. The location of my house – Everyone who cares can find my address. I have a relatively uncommon name, and the internet works. I’m not worried about people knowing where I live, so I’m not concerned that Map My Whatever shows my home location.
2. It tells you what route I take when I walk or ride – Anyone who is interested enough that they might want to attack ME, rather than random passersby, can simply wait outside my house and whack me on my way in or out. They could easily figure out my routine without friending me on Facebook and looking at my map. I’m the only white guy in the neighborhood, and the only person in my immediate neighborhood who walks a dog. I stick out. The app does allow for “live tracking,” but I think that’s creepy and have it turned off. If my wife wants to know where I am, she can call me. The rest of you can hire a private detective or follow me yourselves. If you’re going to be that much of a stalker, do your own work. Alternatively, you could get a dog and walk with me.
3. It might tell you when I am not at home – This is the only serious security concern I have. I do not allow the system to post until I return from my walk, meaning that if you sit around watching your Facebook waiting for my post, you’ll get here just in time to catch me nekkid and on my way to the shower. That would be unfortunate if what you really wanted was to find the house empty so you could steal my stuff. That’s another reason I don’t allow the app to “live track” me. This is also the reason that I never post something that would tell you that I was on vacation.
Security concerns are relative. People like me have relatively low security needs. I carry a gun, I keep my eyes open and my head on a swivel, and I don’t tell people when my house is empty. People like Official Blog Girlfriend Michelle Dockery might have higher security needs. She might not want anyone to know where she lives and has likely taken steps to make sure her address and phone number are unlisted. She also wouldn’t want people to know where and when she walks her dog. I assume she has a dog. She might even hire someone to walk her dog so that she doesn’t expose herself to stalkers. That would be sad, but she does live in England, so she can’t carry a gun to deal with attackers like I can.
I am unlikely to be the target of an assassination attempt. vLadd Everett isn’t going to drive down to Raleigh (even if he’s on the way to his parent’s house) and shoot me in my driveway. I’m annoying, but not that annoying. I just don’t have that type of enemy.
Similarly, I don’t have a reputation for carrying large amounts of money (I’m married. It’s either plastic, or it’s a couple of dollar bills!) and I don’t wear or carry jewelry. My wedding ring cost about $100 and wouldn’t be worth a wooden nickel if you pawned it. No one is going to ambush me in hopes of a fat payday. I do have a reputation for carrying a gun. I’m pretty sure everyone in the neighborhood knows it, because they seem to think I’m a cop. White guy + black neighborhood + suspicious bulge on his right hip = cop, I guess. Now that I’ve cut off my ponytail and I’m walking a dog that looks like a police K9, they will all think their suspicions are confirmed. And if I haven’t been assassinated for being an undercover cop by now, I’m probably ok.
I’m most concerned with random robbery attempts by people that don’t know me. That’s why I carry a gun. And in 6 months, my dog will be a full grown police dog look-alike, making me the last target anyone will want to mess with. Anyone who falls into this category won’t be getting their info about me from Facebook posts.