At Home: Online Vigilantism
Store owners who are victims of theft often turn to technology to prevent further crimes, but surveillance videos can only take them so far. The videos allow viewers to watch crimes unfold, but although suspects can be seen and described, positive identification is a little more difficult.
For a Summerside, P.E.I., jeweller, the solution was simple: get better technology. As the CBC reports, Philip Sullivan had ?been robbed before? with ?nothing . . . recovered,? so when a $3,000 gold chain was stolen from his store, he decided to take his problems online.
The shop owner posted the four-minute surveillance video, with ?supertitles describing the robbery,? on YouTube in September. He also ?posted pictures of three people in the video? on Facebook, and sent the photos to the local BIA and chamber of commerce.
Apparently, it worked; this week, the police arrested a 21-year-old man for the necklace’s theft.
Years ago, ?Wanted? notices were posted in public places; now, public has taken on a whole new meaning. Call it signs of the times.
Around the World: Good Gossip
Your mother told you not to gossip, but it turns out that she may have been . . . wrong? Or perhaps, more accurately, she was only half-right.
As The New York Times reports, a recent study shows that gossip can not only be harmless, it can actually benefit the gossiper’s personal and emotional well-being. However, certain types of gossip have a negative effect?and not just on the person being talked about.
The study, partly authored by a social psychologist, found that those who spoke about others but had ?something nice to say? had a rise in positive emotions and self-esteem. The gossipers also experienced a lowering of negative emotions. The increase and decrease were minor, but noticeable.
However, the findings also demonstrate that negative gossiping has the opposite effect on the person who’s doing the criticizing, and the results are significant enough to give weight to the claim. For those spreading mean gossip, positive emotions decreased by 16 per cent and negative emotions increased by a whopping 34 per cent.
As Judith Martin (a.k.a. Miss Manners) told reporters, ?we’re all gossipers . . . we bond that way . . . but [those] who spread malicious gossip are despicable.? It seems like the negative gossipers have already figured that out.