It seems we have substituted real relationships and communication with our public image and personal 'brand.' Is it somehow more satisfying to be clever for the strangers of Twitter instead of the real people who are standing in front of you?
We can create a habit for ourselves and our children: Pause and reflect. Even alone in the woods, with no technology in sight, recall the teaching of the Internet. What's the intention behind this next action of mine? Would the world reprove if this particular moment goes viral?
The news channels and blogosphere are exploding with hostile reactions to a Canadian Dad blogger's comments on Babble about having a favorite child. Our society loves a chance to weigh in on parenting choices, and this discussion is pretty juicy.
I think there is a time and place in a casual setting with people you love and trust to over-discuss and to over-share, and there is a time to listen, to absorb and to be strategic with your responses.
Here is my bottom line: By all means, be as open as you want online; but realize that with openness can come vulnerabilities, especially for your children.
If history is any guide, advances in privacy have tended to arise in the wake of widespread privacy abuses. Something similar may be happening today with data breaches and identity theft, as more and more people come to understand the pain and consequences of personal data misuse.
The most powerful forces making the case for sharing personal information are not philosophers or media pundits -- they are social media companies and other corporations who have a lot to gain from our social norms about privacy changing.
Just as parents caution their children about the dangers of playing in the street or running with scissors, they must also educate and work with their children in developing personal privacy strategies.
Even though the human condition requires connection, we also need to feel confident that we can be alone and unwatched when we want to be. It may seem an odd notion today, but initially the Internet was a favorite refuge for many seeking privacy.
Facebook is addictive. You feel inclined to read, stalk and share. Only in this forum would stalking be the more acceptable practice of the three. In this case, it's the sharing that's the problem.
In 20 years of writing, I have taken strong positions on reproductive rights, marriage equality, affirmative action... Never have I received as much hate mail as when I admitted that, as a mother, I am flawed.
It has become a ritual of sorts, predictable even as it takes us by surprise each time. Parent writes something personal. Damage may or may not be done by the revelation itself. Then so much more damage is done by the resulting outrage.
Lose one, and the criminals will find a way to exploit them all. Easy way to remember that was given to me many years ago: Passwords are like toothbrushes; you don't share them and you change them regularly.
A few simple changes in how you handle your online activities and personal technology can have a huge impact in safeguarding your life on the Internet.
We live in an era of over-communication surpassing the grotesque, bordering on the obscene. We are now the helpless victims of TMI, or Too Much Information.
Recognizing that you're a gusher enables you to become a better communicator by learning to balance self-sufficiency with emotional expression.