After last week’s thoughts on Flickr — the privacy of my children, not the silliness that ensued over merging of accounts — I decided it was time to take my children’s images out of the public domain. I didn’t delete anything, I simply used Flickr’s batch tools to change permissions on nearly 500 pictures. All of a sudden it dawned on me as I was wading through hundreds of photos of my kids that I’ve made decisions for them that has been completely irresponsible and selfish. What I find interesting about this is the chain of potential ah-ha moments the post seemed to make. Friends of mine, online and off, have made similar decisions … not all of them have been so open about closing the Flickr doors, but the decisions have been made nonetheless. Through the magic of Technorati I came across a great post by Josie over at SocialTech in which she takes the time to draw out some very good points … I am now thinking about how I can use this experience to help shape decisions in other social spaces and with other friends of mine.
It has started me down the path of asking more about my personal/professional/online/offline life decisions … what are the kinds of things that go too far? Clearly I can make these decisions for myself, but I am learning to recognize there are big differences between me Twittering my every move and doing the same about my kids. Funny though as I say that, I am tempted to Twitter something to the effect of, “The little lady wants to play Wii Bowling with mii.” So, are things like that OK? Clearly I am still wrestling with where these lines are. By participating in a social environment like Twitter am I placing myself or my family at risk? These questions will continue to expand as the whole social spaces thing continues to grow. I participate in a lot of them and I have to learn how to think a little more careful about that participation.
My Flickr decision has made start to see this whole notion of identity and privacy through new lenses … I actually feel a little “freed” (is that a word?) from the pressure of placing it all out there online. I know that it sounds ridiculous, but the further out you get, the more you feel like you have to participate. What do you all think?