authentic media, exhibit b — pictures of the family of the person who stole my cell phone posted to my flickr account

My cell phone was stolen last Friday. I had it disconnected and arranged to get a replacement. It had been set up with the excellent service from ShoZu to automatically upload all pictures taken with the phone to Flickr. So today, completely surprisingly, I find pictures on my Flickr account of the family of the person who took the phone. I’m not sure they knew what was happening (they replaced the SIM card with their own, clearly, but probably didn’t notice ShoZu), I have no way to find my phone with these pictures, and I’ve disabled my ShoZu account so it won’t happen again. See update, below.

But: what a great illustration of how social media, inadvertently or not, blows away all normally private separate identities and separate worlds! I don’t just know something about the person who took the phone, I see some of the more intimate details of their family and life. Social media and applications create conditions which would otherwise be impossible. These technologies are only beginning to have a profound impact on social norms and behavior. The photos are below.

Update: the kick-ass car of the person who stole my cell phone. I’ve decided to not disable the ShoZu account, seeing as this person is obviously much cooler than I am. I expect that random pictures will keep showing up in my flickr photostream, and I hope the coolness keeps flowing…

Update 2: It looks like the ShoZu function has been disabled, as there have been no other photos uploaded in a few days, sad to say. Thank you for the many kind words! I have received a spike in traffic on this post, and it seems that there is some problem with commenting, sorry about that!

Update 3:It seems that the car pic was not taken by the camera but uploaded as a wallpaper. Several people have said that I must have done this as some sort of marketing campaign for ShoZu, or that it’s a hoax of some kind. It is not a hoax, and I have no connection to ShoZu. Thanks for your interest…

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