When I first moved to the US, Facebook and Twitter were only available via the web. But once social media was available on our phones; I got used to uploading, checking in, tweeting or updating my status while I was living inside the United States.
But during my first trip back to my home city, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in 2008, I experienced a different story. How I was going to try to utilize social while I was walking in the streets of one of the most dangerous city?
I had to battle my habit of updating and posting pictures from my city while I was walking in the streets — since updating your status or checking into places could reveal my location to kidnappers or thieves. I was only able to post pictures at my house or any other safe location. I took a lot of precaution while I was visiting my hometown, since I don’t put a lot of faith in social media privacy settings, particularly on Facebook.
Whenever I was visiting touristic sites, this was not a problem. However, once I was back in San Pedro Sula, my fear to expose my cellphone or share information on social networks started again.
My trip took place six years ago, and I still question various social media companies and smartphone manufactures if they are doing something about social media and digital usage in developing countries.
Perhaps, social media and smartphones have been able to established and fit everyone’s life in developed countries by being able to use social media safely.
But is still different story in some developing countries, as many kill each other for any smartphone. I must admit that it might not be social media and cellphones companies’ responsibility to combat this issue. Although, I believe they could contribute with plans or campaigns for these countries’ governments in order to educate people about safe usage of different social media networks and smartphones.