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Blog Posted in avatar   Elizabeth Avigad's Blog

Confessions of a "Facebook Parent"

By Elizabeth Avigad
Posted May 29, 2012 in Lifestyle
My report cards in kindergarten often included comments like "plays well with others", "looks out for the other children", "mature beyond her years", but that was apparently just the beginning.
I used to happily trade my toys with the other children - first it was stickers, then Barbie clothes, and later pogs. And once I got my first computer and, shortly after, an email account, I was suddenly opened up to a whole new level of sharing, thanks to that lovely little word 'attachment'.
But it is only recently, since becoming a new mother, that I understood the extent to which I want to share what is going on in my life. Not with everyone, of course, but with the friends and family that should be here with me sharing this experience and are instead hundreds of miles away.
Yes, I have a sharing problem. I post endless streams of photos on my wall so friends and family can watch and be part of my small but growing family. I add comments and frequently over-share, providing details that only another mother would be interested in hearing. I ask questions on forums providing details well beyond anything I would regularly share with my friends, usually followed by a small "help!" or a worried "is it normal?" and feel close to those people who respond with a comforting word or two.
There may be filters for the Internet, but only I can filter the content I upload. While I admit I have an inclination to share, however, I also recognize that there are limits to what I am willing to expose, and take precautions to ensure that I'm sharing responsibly and that I, or those I know, won't regret anything posted down the road.
With that said, here are my tips for ensuring the security of your over-sharing -
1. Update your Default Privacy Settings to ensure that photos, status updates, and comments are shared only with the people you intend to share with.
2. Update your Timeline and Tagging Settings to review any post you've been tagged in before it gets posted on your Timeline, to define who can see posts you've been tagged in, and to approve tags friends add to your own posts.
3. Limit the Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline to keep old posts that you might otherwise want to delete from being dragged out of their Facebook grave to haunt you.
4. Know what Others See When they Look at Your Profile by using the 'View As...' tool.
And lastly...
5. Edit, Edit Edit - some things are better off left unsaid, so stop and ask yourself if this is something you really want written in the semi-private space you've defined for yourself, or if you should just click delete and go make dinner.

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