Final lessons from the Tinder photo theft

Kristin Shotwell, the UNC-CH junior I have written about several times because her photos were taken from her Facebook page and used by someone else to create a new identity on the dating site Tinder, has posted lessons from the experience.

In fact, I used her experience to draw six lessons for the class in which she is a student — Current Issues in Mass Media. She takes those six and adds her own take on each.

Her blog had a one-day high of 32,675 page views, which easily exceeds any one-day total I’ve had on this blog or my newspaper blog.

I’m going to add a seventh lesson: Be as cool as Kristin.

it is unfortunate that this happened. But, as a teacher, I was fortunate that, if it was going to happen, it happened to Kristin. She’s calm, level-headed and smart. She didn’t panic; she didn’t overreact; she didn’t seek vengeance. She’s comfortable with who she is. She merely wanted answers.

As the experience ran its course — no, “Kim” hasn’t been found yet — Kristin was observing, responding, thinking and learning. She responded graciously to those who offered suggestions to help. She didn’t get upset by the nasty and ignorant comments, either. She didn’t accept the influx of Facebook friend requests she got from strangers around the country.

Instead, she used the skills her teachers have taught her in public relations — her concentration — and journalism. She followed the thread of the story wherever it led her, whether to Georgia or Alabama. Throughout, she was a cool head in the middle of a brief, blazing hot spotlight.

And of course, it isn’t over. She’ll be writing about it until it plays out.