Saturday, October 13, 2007

BLOGGERS: Be Careful Out There!

I have always been a bit paranoid about how much information I divulge on my blog about my family. I try to reign in what I say, and, as regular visitors know, I don't post many pictures. This is hard for me, because in real life, *I* am an open book. There's not a topic that I won't discuss. I don't embarass easily. Pretty much everything is fair game.

But I don't believe that I can expect the rest of my family to be so open- and, in fact, my husband is almost a complete opposite- he's a very private person. So, when I blog, I am always grappling with the fundamental tension of wanting to talk about things in my family that are important to me and trying to respect the rest of my family's right to privacy. It's a bit frustrating- especially since I know that what other bloggers want are the details about how things are going- and pictures of gorgeous children! After all, those are the blogs that I like to read.

I waffle sometimes and let my guard down a bit (like those "eating icing" pictures- they were too cute not to share!). And, then, I read something like the following article that makes me stop in my tracks. It appeared in a recent Newsletter from the adoption agency Children's Bridge, and was written by Executive Director Martha Maslen. I'm betting she won't mind me sharing it with you all. It sure is food for thought. See what you think:
Take Care
by Martha Maslen

The last two generations of parents have been labeled “helicopter” parents, in that they “hover” over their children. Mine seems the last to give their children far more latitude in terms of playing on their own and/or interacting with other kids out of parental purview. Growing fears of children being snatched, or otherwise harmed by strangers, more dangerous traffic, and overall a greater need to oversee and program children’s every activity, perhaps can be attributed to this change in parenting style.

Given the propensity to be so protective, I am astounded how free those same parents feel about sharing their children on the other highway, the electronic one. I had occasion in the past few months to chat with several different law enforcement agents who are extremely knowledgeable about on-line crime. They shared my concern about how open parents are in posting their children’s photos, and divulging information that would make it easy to find the child in the real world. They encouraged me to encourage you to be as cautious as you are in the physical world, in the electronic one, in regard to your child’s privacy and safety. While we would not discourage families from sharing the joy of their children, they advised parents be extremely circumspect in what and where they post. While other parents may well be interested, so too are those fearful folks from whom you seek to protect your child in real life.

While I honestly believe that the vast, vast majority of adoption blog readers are wonderful people who are truly interested in a family's journey to and with their children, there are probably some blog surfers out there who have other motives. As much as I pray that they never darken any of our virtual doorsteps, can we ever be too sure?

Where do you draw the line?

Wishing us all safety in Blogsville.


RoLo said...

Very interesting and it does make a person stop and think, thank you for sharing.

Doris & Dan said...

Food for thought...thx for sharing.

Keep smilin!

Wendy said...

It just sucks that we have to even worry about this sort of thing. !!!