As a family, we talk about computer safety often. Facebook and teens is a hot topic. There are privacy issues, which should read, when you are online, there is NO privacy, so what is the issue? As my husband says over and over, "Don't post anything on facebook that you wouldn't want your grandmother to read."
Last week, I started getting some strange phone calls. People that never call me, called me out of the blue. They were weird, awkward conversations, that had a lot of questions around me being "ok." My response? "Me? Oh, yeah, I'm fine, no problem, I'm at a store buying potatoes, what are you up to?"
Then, I got the call from my mom, and then, it all came together like a good, slow motion movie ending. One of my in-law family members posted something on facebook, my husband responded, and she responded to him in a way that had friends and family buzzing around in a flurry.
Yes, the conclusion was that I was having marital problems. Actually, I think the conclusion was that I was heading straight for a divorce! Everyone knew this, except me. Imagine that.
I had read the post. I knew the context. I wasn't worried. Then, with the flurry of phone calls and long, detailed conversations about why I wasn't getting divorced and, in fact, everything was fine, I feel completely exhausted.
It's not just kids that cause problems on facebook. Adults can be cyber-bullied without the "cyber bully" ever even meaning to bully you. It all smacks just the same. It's a wild frontier out there, be mindful of what you disclose. Even if no one is saying anything, EVERYBODY apparently is reading.
This little experience has made me contemplate long and hard about getting out of the facebook ring of fire. Unfortunately, you remain in the ring whether you write something on some one's wall or not. You can be discussed, tagged in photos, and ultimately, hacked.
I just hope this can serve as an adult lesson. Be careful. Make sure that private conversations are actually private. If you leak details without context, it can feel like slander to your friends and family. Unfortunately, I am the poster child for this incident. If so many people called, imagine how many didn't!