|Make sure your safety |
doesn't fall through the cracks.
On a daily basis, I'm not sure how many things I should be doing at one time. It feels perfectly natural to read 4 different websites, sit in the lotus position while engaging in social media outlets, watch tv, check mail, do 8 million things on my phone AND cook all at the same time. If I were less honest, I'd triumph my abilities to divide my attentions and bestow peon status to anyone unable to do (well), the billions of things that I juggle (not as well) daily. We all want to be a superwoman, Stevie, but too often we put ourselves in jeopardy attempting to compartmentalize moments in our day. One of my former colleagues has termed it "single woman" moves (and yes...married women engage in the same juggling act). When I asked her to explain, she provided this telling sign of how often our attention is divided: First thing in the morning, you're running out of the house, making sure curlers are removed, double checking purse, pocket and bra for your phone, money and the backs of your earrings. Later, while buying groceries, you forget if mom's cornbread recipe uses brown sugar or granulated sugar, so you call and catch up on a conversation from 3 days ago while bagging, carrying and loading your groceries...only to repeat the process (also on the phone) while unloading the car, leaving not one of the 15 bags behind and remembering to walk with your tummy sucked in.
And this is just the beginning.
If asked, "What's wrong with this picture"? Most of us balk at having to call mom for the cornbread recipe.
|Motion sensitive lighting can|
act as a great deterrent.
Light It Up! Never underestimate the power of lighting. Anything that can make Joan Rivers look halfway human, is a good things. Likewise, they add safety to your home. Most criminals avoid light like the plague because it aids in identifying possible assailants. Ideally, motion sensitive or timed lighting fixtures in key areas in and outside of your home increases the "element of surprise" and can work to disorient an attacker or thief.
Zig, Then Zag! Remember that in most cases, your habits and schedule is being watched by the criminal element to optimize their chances of getting away with your goods (or you!). If your routine involves, leaving home, driving the same route to work and the same route in reverse on the way home, you could be setting yourself up for invasion, as "good" thieves, have timed your moves down to the minute and know when to strike. It's important to vary your routine to keep them off the scent and it can make the day more interesting!
Pay Attention! My confession for today is I tend to be hypervigilant, which means I scope my immediate surrounds for any possible moments of danger or threat. With that said, I never park next to vans, semis or large trucks. Blame any of the forensic "cop" shows that inhabit the airwaves, but something about a van with tinted windows, missing license plates and Playboy mudflaps screams "DANGER!!!" Jokes aside, take note of the vehicles near you, especially in parking garages. You've seen it a million times, a lady is rooting around in her purse, juggling shopping bags and making sure "Little Billy" isn't running off to play in traffic...never once taking note of the van parked in the darkest part of the garages with the bumpersticker that reads: "I Heart My Crawlspace". Have your keys in hand and park in a well lit area. And once you're in the car, don't take that moment to balance your checkbook, reapply lipstick or adjust your hairweave. Close the door, lock it, start the car and leave!
Hold Your Tongue! Stay off the phone. I know, you've headed out of the house without full directions to your destination (which is tantamount to soliciting trouble from potential assailants) so you have to call somebody to find out where you're going, discuss your choice of the red shoes with the pink blouse, brag about the money you saved on a housewarming gift and hear your girlfriend complain about her boyfriend...for the 12 millionth time. Not only does this fall under the auspices of "You~Are~Not~Paying~Attentiondom", but you're also stressing that phone battery. And who you gonna call with a dead battery? Nobody! So should everything that can go wrong...DOES, you're left with no means of summoning help, and at the mercy of any Gacy, Dahmer or Bundy who comes along.
|Updating your status need not |
include your current
trip to the moon.
Somebody's Watchin' Me. I love taking pictures of myself. Something about the combination of my eyes, my smile (when I decide to bare it) and my shoulders go a long way in passing the time and tipping the balance from confidence to conceit. I love me some me. With that said, learn to be careful of how, where and why you post pictures on social networks. Think about this: If your pic is in front of your car, there's a chance that your license plate number is in plain view. If it's in front of your home, your address is on display. If it's a mobile download from your cell and you're in front of the Great Wall Of China...YOU'RE NOT AT HOME!!! (All thieves, feel free to enter at the rear and go through each drawer and book carefully...they won't be home anytime soon!). When possible, don't post your picture when you know you won't be returning soon. When taking pictures with your spring crop of geraniums or your shiny new candy paint (Southern Rap Joke), make sure to limit anything that can accurately identify your home or car. Another "secret" I'll share (which is somewhat Facebook specific) is to "hide/remove" the event invites you accept. Don't ask me why, or how I know that this is the new stalking...just trust me. And thank me later...Drake.
Boundaries, Privacy & Blocks. One of my favorite things about social networking is the social aspect of the medium. I enjoy talking to friends, family, and alumni without actually hearing their voices. It helps me to coordinate the active "party life" that I've cultivated (and largely ignored) and helps me to stay abreast of certain news events. It also allows me the chance
Hopefully, You've noticed a common theme to these safety tips (or, my writing skills are suffering from sleep deprivation), which is paying attention. Do yourself a favor and identify the times when you've divided your concentration in favor of something less important than your life and safety...and then promptly cut it out! We want you around...