Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are just some of the largest social networking sites available.  Social networking has reconnected millions of people, sparked an industry and also has exposed people to public scrutiny as is evident with the latest news.  Electronic communication has brought about a new age of information overload, and with it a generation of people who expose themselves regularly to judgement based on what they post.  I must confess that I too am addicted to my Facebook page.  I have reconnected with people I have not seen in thirty years and it gives me a chance to still be involved with those I otherwise would not be.  I am dismayed however, by the postings of many out there who post things that are not only inappropriate, but one day I am sure will haunt them.  The high jinks of teenage years has led to obscene and suggestive photos and status’ that makes me wonder, do these people understand what ‘forever’ means?  The electronic imprint that goes out is far-reaching and permanent.  Take something down and it already has been seen by countless eyes and recorded by who knows.  I wonder where the adults and parents are with some teens profiles. They ‘friend’ them and when something suggestive and inappropriate gets posted do they care?  Do they read what their kids are writing and sharing?  When people put a moment by moment posting of their location and what they are doing, was that meant to alert would be criminals that my house is vacant or you know where to get me?  Pictures of teens drinking alcohol are pretty hard evidence of underage drinking, and if ever evidence is needed for a court case all the proof a prosecutor needs is right there on Facebook.   When there are disparaging remarks posted as funny do people realize that it may just be hurtful to someone who will read it?  Social media can be wonderful, but it is a double-edged sword and the ramifications are yet to be truly understood.  Being responsible and respectful have always been attributes we hoped people would employ, however now with the genesis of social media there is a public record when people disregard those things.  Social media is here to stay.  I think it would be wise to not make a  permanent record of ourselves that we would not be proud of revisiting with our own children and grandchildren twenty years from now.  Tip for today:  think before you post!

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