Is it just me or is the world becoming a creepier place?
Along with helpful time-saving hacks and cute videos, my Facebook feed is filled with stories of people being ambushed during a Craigslist meeting and police picking up free-range kids.
I don’t want to get into the pros and cons of free-range parenting (maybe another day), but I do want to offer up 9 things you shouldn’t post on Facebook.
Maybe I’m a bit paranoid, but really, who knows who is reading your feed?!?!
9 things you shouldn’t post on Facebook (or other social media)
“We live at _____” (or a picture of the front of your house).
I don’t want strangers knowing where I live or even what city I live in. Nope, no thanks. If you need to share your address on Facebook, it’s safer to do it in a private message or via email.
Going along with this, we don’t post pictures that display our license plates or our mailbox with our address.
“Left my kids home alone today.”
If you want to share a new milestone, post afterward about how proud you are that your child is mature enough to stay home alone, never during, and don’t even get me started on “check ins.”
“Missing my husband while he’s away on business.”
Talk about an invitation to the creeps! I never mention my husband’s travel schedule. But I might post about how loudly our big dog barks! (Hint, hint!)
“First day at ______ Elementary School!”
We love to celebrate these firsts, too, especially since we quit homeschooling, but we leave off identifying information.
“We’re off for 2 weeks at the beach!”
Going on vacation? Better not to tell the world that your home will be empty and available to thieves and when they need to be out.
Save your vacation pictures for when you get back. That way, you and your friends can relive your adventures and your home stays safe.
Pictures of your kids in the bathtub.
I learned this the hard way. I saved an adorable picture to Flickr of one of my babies in the bath. It wasn’t terribly revealing, but still some creepy person made a rude comment.
Lesson learned. I made all of my pictures private and deleted anything that might later embarrass my kids.
Some people go so far as to not post pictures of their kids at all on social media.
They also request that friends and relatives refrain from posting pictures and updates. They consider this a way to protect kids’ digital identity until those kids are old enough to make their own choices about what to post.
I don’t feel this level of security and anonymity is necessary for my kids (and it’s much too late for them anyway), but it does make you think about how public our kids’ lives – and our own lives – really are.
“Happy 40th birthday to ______.”
We love to celebrate birthdays and this one is really hard to enforce, but knowing someone’s exact birthdate is valuable information for identity thieves. I prefer to use a “fake” birthday on Facebook just for a little extra security.
“Can you believe _____ still wets the bed??”
While this isn’t a safety risk, anything that might embarrass your kids is best left offline. You really don’t want things like that getting back to your child’s friends.
I don’t hold back, however, about how my kids feel I’m torturing kids everywhere when I publish chore charts that are downloaded thousands of times. Ah, well, I hope they’ll thank me when they’re older. [Cue the evil mom laugh!]
I love social media!
It enriches my life every day, however I do think it’s important to use extra caution in what we share.
It’s not hard to get into the habit to keep certain things off of social media and it just might save you some trouble.
Sarah Mueller believes that outer order contributes to inner calm! She’s a sometimes frazzled mom to 4 boys in PA, encourager to moms everywhere, and author of Step-by-Step Decluttering.