You wake up the next morning, tired but happy. What a wild day yesterday was! You think back on all the times Marco almost found out about the party. “Man, I really need to lock down my phone more!” you think, as you run downstairs for some breakfast.
As you sit at the table, eating your Cinnamon Toast Crunch and reflecting on some of the funny things that happened at the party, your little sister walks over with a guilty look on her face.
She’s holding your brand new PS5 controller, which is dripping with juice.
Thanks for reading the “Marco’s Surprise Party” choose-your-own-adventure story. We hope you had fun trying to keep the surprise and prevent Marco from finding out about his party! Depending on the path you chose, you may have missed a couple of things that are important to consider about devices and location privacy. Here are a few takeaways:
- It’s ok to be the expert. Sometimes, like your mom in the story, adults don’t know as much about social media as you do. If you understand more about privacy settings than the adults you know, it’s ok for you to be the expert. Teach them the stuff they don’t understand, they’ll appreciate it!
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Even though in one of the paths you weren’t in the TikTok video with Sam and Kenya, someone else was filming the rehearsal and posted it, which included a conversation about Marco’s party. Even if you aren’t trying to purposefully make a video or be in one, make sure you know what the people around you are doing and posting. This also goes for phone convos; when Ace saw you at the party supply store when they were looking for a card for Marco, they were on the phone with Marco. If you’d yelled out to them, Marco would have heard you and known something was up!
- Regularly check your privacy settings on apps. It’s easy to forget to check on settings. But some apps don’t need to know your location all the time. When you forgot to change your settings after the concert two months ago on the Find My Friend app, Marco was able to find you today. When you left your Venmo privacy settings on friends, thinking you’d never need it to be private, it ruined the surprise. Don’t think of privacy settings as a one-time decision. Make it a habit to check on them: You could set a reminder on your phone to check once a month, or just get in the habit about being more mindful of what things really need to be publicly shared and what don’t.