27 Oct 2016
Keep k-alm and carry on sharing
We’ll never know if the Great Parisian Heist could’ve been prevented if Kim Kardashian hadn’t brandished her bling on social media (right). Unlike the robbers who made off with US$10mil worth of Mrs Kanye West’s pretty shiny things, most of us will never come close to seeing — or owning — that kind of jewellery (unless you keep up with the Kardashians).
Still, the terrifying incident got both plebs and Instagram stars like socialite Jamie Chua to rethink their social media habits. Jamie’s 400,000 Insta-followers get more than just glimpses of her daily life throughout the day, like her OOTDs against the backdrop of her walk-in wardrobe brimming with over 200 Hermès bags.
For mere mortals who dine at Old Town White Coffee rather than Odette, there are still lessons to be learned. Think of it as a wake-up call, a reminder of the conundrum that’s bugged us since social media’s infancy: how much is too much? How do we stay safe in this age of over-sharing?
27 Oct 2016
1. Make sure you always have company
JAMIE CHUA: “I always have people with me. I don’t even drive, so it’s impossible to catch me alone, even in a car park. [Always having someone around] makes me feel a bit safer. I don’t need a bodyguard — it’s not like I’m a minister. It’s too troublesome to hire them anyway. Moreover, Singapore is very safe. At home, I have an alarm system and other security measures. And there’s a minister living right next to me and a police post nearby so the police also often patrol the area. My boyfriend tells me that I shouldn’t be posting pictures of huge diamond rings [like Kim K]. I don’t do that — Instagram is not a platform for me to show off. I’m just showing my OOTDs and the places that I go to. It’s not just about photographing one big piece of jewellery for the sake of letting people know I own it. I find that really crass.”
2. Don’t let one incident put a kink in your vacay plans
JAMIE: “I visit Paris quite often. I used to think that it’d be okay if I avoid the less desirable areas, but a couple of my friends have been robbed in areas where I hang out. The best thing to do is not to wear anything too flashy next time I go. I wouldn’t go so far as to completely avoid taking Snapchats or Instagram Stories. Plus, it’s not like I’ll post a picture of the Eiffel Tower immediately after taking it. I usually do it after I leave, about an hour later. People aren’t going to search the whole of Paris for me anyway. My boyfriend almost got pickpocketed when we took a train from Provence to Paris. It’s not like these people knew who we are — there are just random petty thieves lurking all over Europe. But because my boyfriend was alert, he noticed it and they ran away. You have to be on the alert, no matter what.”
27 Oct 2016
3. No bodyguards? Arm yourself
XIAXUE: “I carry something like a torchlight weapon with me when I’m out. Its edges are a bit hard and sharp, so you can flash the strong light in someone’s face, and when the light blinds them for a while, you use the torchlight to [whack] their face (laughs). It’s a legit weapon that costs $400. There are all kinds of online crazies and the haters can be a bit insane. So I’m a little afraid that they might attack me or my family. I was especially scared during the Gushcloud saga. People commented that they wanted to hurt me in some ways, posted my address online, and even created a very scary website with a lot of bloody pictures, telling people what to do when they go to my block, like set fire to my house. But nothing’s happened so far. There are CCTVs installed at my block, so hopefully, that makes it a bit safer. I can’t force anyone to take down the postings, especially if I don’t know who did it anyway. Even if you report it to the police, they’re not going to care. Yours is just one minor case that’s of no consequence to anyone.”
4. Post snaps of your kid… with caution
XIAXUE: “I don’t think posting pictures of [my three-year-old son] Dash [endangers his safety]. If people really wanted to hurt him, they can find out what he looks like by waiting at my block. But I’m careful not to reveal stuff like where his school is or what time he goes to school.”
27 Oct 2016
5. Use really, really old photos
REBECCA LIM: “Posting what you’re having for lunch on Instagram Stories and Snapchat shows where you are at that point in time. I’ve never done that. I don’t like to share about my personal life. You hardly see my family members’ faces on my Instagram, other than really old photos from 20 years ago where we all look very different (laughs). I don’t flaunt what I have at home or how much money or gold I have in my safe. Just use common sense. If you’re putting it out there, it’s creating a temptation for others. If it’s nothing positive, don’t post it.”
27 Oct 2016
6. Make #ThrowbackThursday your fave day
DAVID GAN: “In the past, I’d post photos of my Hermès Birkins with stacks of cash inside. I don’t do it anymore now ’cos I received a lot of negative comments. These days, if I want to post anything, I’d only upload them a few days later and hashtag #throwbackthursday, #memories or #latergram. It’s for my own safety, so that no one knows my exact location at a specific time. I also don’t really use Instagram Stories as they are instantaneous and I’d be giving away my whereabouts. Anyway, Singapore is a safe country, so I’m not that worried about getting robbed (laughs).”
27 Oct 2016
7. Don’t snap at home
CARRIE WONG: “Once things go online, they stay there forever. So, if I really don’t want something to go online, I’ll make extra effort to keep it private by deleting it [from my phone]. I also avoid taking pictures in my house. Even if I do, I won’t say that it’s my house. Usually, I only share things like filming outtakes, food, and travel, and not about family or relationships.”