I asked for my restaurant thirst pic to be geolocated

And it was a great lesson in personal safety

Recently, I asked Twitter to precisely geolocate this picture (which I’m incidentally very fond of):

Of course, it didn’t take long for the correct answer to get posted (alongside with the correct specification, this was, of course, the DC Yard House):

Note that I somewhat blurred the background, but as I repeatedly like to point out on here, THIS KIND OF BLURRING IS NOT GOING TO PREVENT DEDICATED PEOPLE FROM FINDING YOUR LOCATION. Let’s all please accept that.

What I especially liked about this exercise is how detailed it got:

Scroll back up and take a look at that menu. The menu size, the spacing, the text boxes, the righthand column — if you’re ever been in print journalism like I have, you may especially appreciate the way layout helps with brand recognition.

We used this recognition to help sell newspapers. Stalkers, on the other hand, will use this information to track you down to a favorite watering hole in no time.

Besides the menu layout, we also have the bar, the ceiling, the seating, the coaster, etc. Look at the distinct metal pattern behind me, for example. Even a person who knows nothing of the DC bar scene would be able to narrow it down eventually.

Now, why is this important?

Well, I think this tweet by Ines pretty much sums it up:

For many of us, nothing fits into a pattern better than a favorite bar. Especially if they happen to play a lot of late 1990s music, like the Yard House does (it gets aging millennials like me, ahahaha).

This is why it’s a good rule of thumb to keep your most visited locations off your public social media. I give this advice to women in particular, as we’re sadly much more likely to be drugged at a bar, but truth be told, it applies to everyone.

You don’t have to be an international super spy to follow this rule. Just think of it this way: Do you need random weirdos to know where you usually hang out? Most likely, and I’m just spitballing here — you do not. This isn’t paranoia talking, this is just common sense. So stay safe out there!

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