Have you ever seen a bloodhound at work, tracking down a fugitive? Bloodhounds are absolutely remarkable creatures that are able to distinguish smells a thousand times more effectively than human beings. An article at PBS tells how they get on a trail and how they stay on it:
When a bloodhound sniffs a scent article (a piece of clothing or item touched only by the subject), air rushes through its nasal cavity and chemical vapors — or odors — lodge in the mucus and bombard the dog’s scent receptors. Chemical signals are then sent to the olfactory bulb, the part of the brain that analyzes smells, and an “odor image” is created. For the dog, this image is far more detailed than a photograph is for a human. Using the odor image as a reference, the bloodhound is able to locate a subject’s trail, which is made up of a chemical cocktail of scents including breath, sweat vapor, and skin rafts. Once the bloodhound identifies the trail, it will not divert its attention despite being assailed by a multitude of other odors. Only when the dog finds the source of the scent or reaches the end of the trail will it relent. So potent is the drive to track, bloodhounds have been known to stick to a trail for more than 130 miles.
When a fugitive is on the run, he leaves behind a trail. This trail of breath and sweat and dropped skin cells is invisible to the human eye and undetectable to the human nose, but it contains all the information a bloodhound needs to stay on the trail, to distinguish that one scent from thousands of others.
One of the remarkable facts about life in this digital world is that we leave trails behind us wherever we go and whatever we do. I am writing today from Huntsville, Alabama; Rogers, my cell phone company, knows I am here. They know the route I took to get here—from my home to Toronto’s airport, a layover in Chicago, then my route from Huntsville’s airport to this home. It has all been recorded as my phone has checked in with a variety of cell phone towers. In the same way Google has a record of searches I’ve made today, and yesterday and the day before.
Facebook keeps track of the name of every person you’ve searched for, every status update, every comment on another person’s status, every photo you’ve liked, every friend you’ve made. Taking a look at this list makes for a helpful social media heart-check.
I’d encourage you to take just a few moments to do this heart-check. Here’s how to begin. Go to Facebook and then click on your name to see your profile:
Then click on “Activity Log.”
Then make sure this box is selected (click it so a checkmark appears):
Now you will see something like this:
Here is a list of just about everything you’ve done on Facebook. It will go on and on and on, showing all of your activity. Let me suggest a few questions you may want to ask yourself as you look at it.
Would you be comfortable having your husband or wife sitting beside you and seeing this activity log? How about your pastor or a good friend?