jeudi, mai 12, 2011

Back from the edge

"I don't care if you ever dated me, or were my friend, you don't know me and you have no right to judge me. I know who my friends are, so don't even pretend" writes my daughter on her Facebook wall.

A few updates back, she muses on how her life, since her 16th birthday, has gotten progressively worse.

I sigh. Or I grin. Or, when there is some revelation I consider particularly inappropriate, likely to cause problems for her, I call her dad and ask him whether we need to impose some consequence.

But in the case of adults like me, we are the only ones who can impose the consequence.

Technological toys like Facebook and Twitter can be such wonderful instruments for spreading news, creating more open societies, and promoting one's work.

No wonder dictators move to choke off revolutions by shutting down Facebook and Twitter.

Most of the time, I am a placid user.

As someone who has profited by sharing snippets of her life story as a commentator, I am happy to have the additional forum.

But I've found that I am not always a wiser consumer -- at least not recently. There have been occasions on which I have veered too far over that invisible line I chart for my daughter. And that's a big red flag.

Most of my friends and followers are smart about the way they access social technology.

If you met them in real life, you'd recognize them from their online persona's. Most of them are wary about how much personal information they divulge -- they do it if it will edify, not humiliate or embarrass.

I want to be one of those people. I choose to be one of those people.

A few changes are in order.

I am taking a break from personal tweeting, unless it concerns news or posts from articles (or my blog), until I am better at maintaining the boundaries I have set.

I apply the "will you regret having said this in three months test" when I put personal information on Facebook.

I will try to spread light, and not darkness.

And mostly, I'm going to try to be the person online that I am offline.

We'll see how well I do.

How about you, readers? Do you sometimes fall into the red zone when it comes to self-disclosure? What are your zones of privacy? Comment, please.

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