While I was growing up in the mid 1900’s things were simple. We played simple games like Red Rover, and Hopscotch and on those rainy days a board game like Snakes and Ladders or Monopoly.
We spent spare time on the streets without much supervision all day and after supper with the one hard fast rule; come in when the street lights came on.
Sunday nights was Lassie, Disney and the Ed Sullivan show. The family watched it together. Things were simple and for the most part we were happy.
Cartoons, which we watched on Saturday mornings were actually pretty violent but we knew they were pretend.
There was no internet or cellphones. Just the encyclopaedia, the postal system and the regular dial phone. The latter, when it required long distance was used occasionally as the cost was prohibitive.
These days I quite enjoy connecting with people on Facebook. Sometimes a way to catch-up on what people in your circles are up to, laugh at a joke, or post some issue that you may want to share with others.
There are some things that have been brought to everyones attention and I thought that I wanted to share it in another way. Just something you should think about, and make your own decisions.
A niece of mine told me she enjoys my family history pieces and we got to discussing the issue and I told her that at one point, unless some people give me some new information. I will eventually hit the bottom of the well.
One thing led to another and I mentioned that I would not publish data about living relatives on my site, in general and definitely not without permission. With all the privacy issues one has to be careful. She did not think it to be as much of a problem as I did.
The more I thought about it, the more it churned. When I was raising my children, the internet was not used very much so anything I wanted to get to family and friends usually went in a letter. Things that happened, pictures of the kids, anything that had to do with my family actually.
Today, all that has changed. Mere moments after something occurs it’s out there for the world. I’m not necessarily against it but I do have my concerns.
If I had a new baby or young family, I am not so sure I would post their picture for the world to see. If I had friends or family with whom I wanted to share information or photos, I would probably send them an email with attachments.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not paranoid, but there are several reasons I would think twice before putting children’s pictures on the www. Most of you can guess why.
You may argue that Facebook is just something between friends. Are you sure? Anyone reading your page has a pretty good idea of who you are and what you are up to. I looked and most of my FB contacts have about 500 friends. How well can you know 500 people. Be honest. If they post things to their friends then they too are posting to their friends, friends and so on.
Common comments such as “off to the gym” or “going shopping”, could alert someone that you are out of the house. If you have children (or not), the house could be empty or with a young babysitter. Someone who wanted to watch you could monitor your activity for several days and have a pretty good idea of your comings and goings.
A social conscience is a great idea as well, but you could alert someone who may take offence to your comments, or worse. Or if you post too much people become overwhelmed don’t bother to read any of your posts. You are then classed as a FB spammer. Some people may even “God forbid” unfriend you.
So next time you think about posting something, give it some thought. Do I really want the world to see me in this light, or just those close to me. Perhaps sending family pictures in an email or letter is not such a bad idea after all, making them only available for a chosen few. Make a post like “New family pics.” Those closest to you could be on an email group list.
As to the posting of funny family stories for my family. I am thinking about possibly password protecting the things that could possibly upset anyone and sharing it with just my chosen few.
Go here for more about safety:
*This week Jane McDowell wife of William Bell
* new story "Aunt Edie and My Favourite Dress"
"When researching Family never leave a stone unturned, not even a pebble."