I just read How not to be a Key Online Influencer a story that resonates with me. Today, between Twitter and Facebook, blogs and forums, and the ability to google answers on everything, we have the ability to share, find, and regurgitate information at a rate our parents viewed as impossible only a few decades ago. Many, who grew up with this, understand the responsibility we have been given and the risks. Many, who came in later, don't.
When I started this blog it was to do two things; force me to write more and to make sure I qualified for the PokerStars blogger game. It's done both (although I missed this years tournament due to qualifiers conflicting with my schedule *sigh*), and it's made me realize how easy it is to step over virtual lines we wouldn't cross in real life.
Simple example; Would you walk into an auditorium filled with many people you knew, and people they knew, and yell out "I'm going on vacation to Canada the week of [pick a date]!"? Probably not. Why? Because you don't know all the people listening and the potential risk to your property, or person, are too high.
Okay, now how many of you would post that to Facebook? Twitter? Your own personal blog? I'm willing to bet a few. We view these areas as "safe" - as a limited forum to our friends and family only. Which is true, if you've set up the security, none of your friends has been hacked, and you're diligent in checking this.
I know I'm not. It's a reason my Facebook account is locked down, and I only share what I would share here. No names, pictures, or stories without permission. Honestly, it limits what I can write. However, I've stuck to my values and I've not once insulted a friend or family member -- unless they knew it was coming.
It's worth giving your values the once over in the Social media space. Odds are Mom was right, if you don't want it published on the front page NY Times, your friends probably don't want it on the front page of Facebook.