Jayne Hitchcock here – I was recently interviewed by a local paper here in Maine about a teen girl who had been found murdered. Turns out she had made friends with a complete stranger on Facebook, who lured her into meeting him to get some marijuana. But the stranger on Facebook was really someone she knew who had opened up the fake account. His claim in court, after he was arrested, was that he only wanted to kidnap her as the stranger, then he would rescue her and become a “hero.” Well, that didn’t work out the way he planned. After he choked her until she was unconscious, he threw her in the trunk of his car. She died from “asphyxia due to compression of the neck.” So now he’s a zero, not a hero.
I wrote about cases like this in my new book, True Crime Online (http://www.truecrime-online.com) and this is what happens to not only kids and teens, but adults as well on ANY kind of social media. You become friends with people you really don’t know and bad things like this can and will happen. I can’t stress this enough! Only make friends with people you really and truly know. When I see people who have two, three or four thousand friends, I know that they do NOT know everyone on their friend list.
Yes, some people have profiles just to promote themselves, their business or their books. That’s a whole different ball of wax. But when you have a profile where you post day to day mundane things, maybe a fight you had with your spouse or partner or kids, you’re ill, and other personal information, are you positive there are people on your friend list you would rather not see that kind of thing?
Maybe it’s time to “clean house” and take a long, hard look at your friend list and get rid of people you just can’t recall knowing. This goes for not only Facebook, but any social media you are using such as LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Myspace (if you still use that, ha ha), etc.
I hear you going to Facebook right now. . .