Am I old fashioned for thinking it’s probably not the best idea to live-tweet your police standoff? Last Saturday night, I noticed that many on my Twitter timeline were tuned into 47-year-old blogger Frank James MacArthur’s real-time account of his standoff with police who surrounded his home. Authorities were reportedly there to serve a warrant issued in June for a probation violation stemming from a 2009 gun case – claiming the blogger missed his court hearing.
While others appeared to be engrossed in the stream, as I scrolled my feed, I kept thinking at any moment someone was going to quote Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya?”
Details about the matter thus far still appear a bit sketchy. Apparently, MacArthur was aware that police were on their way to get him and was prepared to surrender. That is, until the SWAT team, along with a helicopter hovering above the area where he lived, made the situation worse than it needed to be. To be fair, though, the cavalry coming that intensely has to do with MacArthur’s actions before that time. Like, taking to Twitter to issue threats such as these to law enforcement: “Anyone trying to capture me, ur gonna have to kill me, before I kill you. I'm a nice guy, but I'm a bad, bad man. Dangerous us, so don't try”
MacArthur also claimed that he had been threatened by “rogue elements” within the Baltimore Police Department. Even if that has some truth to it, does responding to those supposed threats by issuing your own to law enforcement on a social media service sound like a good idea?
MacArthur’s Saturday stunt is just another example of how we’re increasingly becoming a culture of oversharers. I’ve seen folks share images and video of them in sexual acts, fighting, and now, I’m seeing second-by-second accounts from a man potentially in danger of getting shot, if he makes the wrong move.
Y’all: your social media feed isn’t your reality show. You don’t have to share everything. You can have sex without providing photographic evidence. I love seeing pictures of spicy chicken strip dinners from Popeye’s, but every order doesn’t have to be photographed. And seriously, when the police show up at your house and there are helicopters hovering over you, maybe you don’t need to be focused on your Webcast. By the way, you probably don’t want to incriminate yourself via an outlet that’s cached by Google.
Bottom line: Sometimes you’ve got to keep certain things to yourself and your P.O. Afterall, that’s a sacred relationship.