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I’m off to Vegas for Memorial Day weekend so I started following the official Vegas Twitter account the other day to check for deals or events that might be going on in the area. Vegas immediately followed me back and sent me a direct message telling me to be sure to tweet stories @Vegas while I’m there.
Although this has the potential to be absolutely hilarious, I'm going say no thanks because it also has the potential to be a disaster.
The last thing I need is for all of my co-workers, social media acquaintances and extended family members to know about my Vegas escapades. And in the social mediasphere it doesn’t end there. All it takes is one retweet or someone reading the Vegas Twitter feed and eventually word has spread about where I am and what I’m doing in Vegas. Yikes.
What about the people who go to Vegas for bachelor or bachelorette parties like in The Hangover? I’m sure there are things they’d rather not share with everyone back home. Stu from The Hangover didn’t need his girlfriend to be crazy to find out he was really in Vegas instead of Napa Valley: all it takes is one Foursquare check-in, tweet, or Facebook status update by one of the other guys he was with.
While social media can be a great tool for many reasons, it can strip people of their privacy in ways that can end badly. Even when you go on vacation you can still grab your smartphone and access any social networking site you want, meaning that people can find out about what happened on vacation before you even get back home and post your pictures online.
What’s the lesson to be learned here? Well, I’d say that now more than ever privacy is up to your own discretion. If you want certain things to remain private, you have to put in the effort to make it that way. Social networking sites don’t make it easy for you. It’s almost better if you just can’t access them when you travel to somewhere like Vegas where there’s too much of a possibility for embarrassment. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
I’m glad I thought of this before I pulled out my Blackberry in Vegas and started tweeting about my weekend. Personally, I’m going to have to keep the infamous slogan alive and make sure that what happens in Vegas stays there.