What’s a Picture Worth?

April 1, 2014 at 11:12 am 7 comments

A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s an old saying that was true then as it is now. I’d venture to say that it’s more so today as we have become more picture-oriented than ever before.

The signs are everywhere. Pictures and videos dominate our lives. We watch media instead of read. We use cameras instead of text to record and share the story of our lives. Small wonder that words are losing ground.

Well, it’s no surprising considering how easy it is to point and shoot with a camera rather than express yourself in words. It captures the moment as you see it leaving no details behind. As an added bonus, the picture that you take can be instantly uploaded on social media.

The internet provides a convenient way for staying connected with your friends and loved ones, expanding your social circle, and finding people of like interests. This you do by exchanging text messages and sharing pictures and videos in a social networking site like Facebook.

If there’s a downside, it’s that it encroaches upon your privacy. Nothing you post or do online can be considered private. You betcha, somebody is watching and monitoring your activities. It could be big brother or somebody else meant to do you harm like a serial killer.

For this reason, it pays to be on your good behavior when you’re on the internet. It would be kind of foolish to take an iPhone selfie in an uncompromising position right in the privacy of your room and put it online as a prank. Even if you have sent it anonymously, it could still be traced to you using the GPS coordinates of the location it was taken in the exif data that is embedded in the picture. That’s exactly how a woman who catfished several celebrities was caught. When the investigator entered the GPS coordinates found in her online pictures into google maps, he was able to figure out her exact address and location in Wyoming, which ultimately led to her true identity.

By default, Exif data is encoded in every digital picture. It makes sense to remove it from your pictures before uploading them to the internet to prevent unscrupulous people from using the information, especially the GPS coordinates, to track you down. There are freeware utilities that can be used to delete it. One of them is called Quick Fix. Another is Pro Photo Tools.

If you’re still inclined to post that selfie online, I suggest that you use one of the above utilities to check and purge any incriminating information. Otherwise, be my guest. It would likely be a picture worth a thousand embarrassments to you as it spreads with your identity all over the internet like a virus.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , .

weekly photo challenge: street life wordless wednesday: street artist

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From The Book Thief

i have hated the words and i have loved them, and i hope i have made them right.

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