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Cautious or Paranoid January 15, 2009

Posted by L in Bloggers, Family, Friends, General, Life.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been thinking (which might explain my headaches).  Many of the people on blogs – and twitter, facebook, myspace, Vimeo, etc – are not overly cautious.  I mean, they share pictures, movies, names, and locations.  They make themselves easy to find.  They are very open about themselves.

I use “net-names”.  I am fairly vague about where I live.  On this blog I post no family photos.  On the family blog, I have the pictures altered so that you can’t really see faces.  I’m very open about myself here, but still careful to not let (most) others know exactly who I am.

I have a loosened up a bit. I actually entered a contest – and won.  That meant I had to give my address to have something mailed to me.   I also participated in a swap/barter.  Again, that meant exchanging addresses.  There is no way I would have done this even a year ago.

Am I paranoid?  Are most people just not cautious enough?

One family that I know (okay, I read their blog so I feel like I know them, but don’t actually know them know them) opens their home up to many of their readers.  Wow!  At first I thought they were just crazy living on the edge.  Then I thought about this:  I almost went to meet a group of net friends recently.  I also may have one of my net-friends coming to my area for a visit this year.  But, that’s different.  I mean, we talk on the phone! …… Okay, so it’s the same thing.  Or is it?

If I were to send a message to the “open-house-family” saying I would be in their area, would they offer their home to me?

I heard a message recently (as in last night) and thought about them.
This isn’t my study blog so I won’t go deep into this, but part of the Scripture read was Matt 25:35
“for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;”

( NKJV )

At the same time though, we do have common sense.  Where is the line?  When do you offer to let someone come into your home?  At what point will you be willing to stay at someone else’s home?  Where is the line between caution and faith?  When is it common sense and when is it paranoia?

Just because someone is open about their life and family does mean they should open their home.  Where is the line of caution when it comes to showing and telling things online?

So many young people put so much out there that not only put them in danger now, but could effect them in ways they can’t comprehend now.  And so many proud parents share so much about their lives and location, it scares me for them.

Am I just overly cautious?  Is everyone else too open?  Am I paranoid without realizing it?  Or am I just using common sense?  Internet safety?

Hmm. Something to think about…



Where do you stand on this issue?  And why?



1. sweetiegirlz - January 15, 2009

For goodness sake woman loosen up already. haha! So many reasons to “let fly”.

For YOU~You believe in a God who would protect you no matter what.

I believe if I used my family’s pictures in a way that were not pleasing to HIM, I would therefore open up myself to all kinds of weirdness.

For this reason. I DO crop. No bathing suit shots of my girls or shorts, or leg shots or budding cleavage shots.

For the staying with “strangers” thing.

DID YOU KNOW? That I read in the true story, “I AM AN ARMY WIFE” about a Pre-civil war officer’s wife, that the settlers on the Lewis and Clark trail, depended on each other for survival to the point where they were BOUND BY HONOR to host any family needing to stop for the night? If they never did this, many of those families would have starved, froze or fallen prey to Indians while establishing the United States.

i know. deep. The whole thing is that mostly all of them were Christians.

2. mistyisforeverlost - January 18, 2009

for me, it’s more about common sense over time. I’m one who occasionally will post a picture of my kids or my husband. Someone who really wants to find me, can whether I post any important information or not. It’s also a teaching process with my children because have had ‘virtual friends’ stay with us on occasion as well as traveled to meet up with them. We’ve taught about all the precautions I had in place before I went. My husband and I talked about the precautions that would be in place while they were here for the first time (no, I will never share them, defeats the purpose) and are constantly talking to our children about being net savvy since we, as the parents, are very net oriented.

With that said, I think it’s more personal comfort level of each individual. No right or wrong. If someone sent me an email and I barely ‘knew’ them and asked to stay in my home. I would say no. It’s just not smart in this day and age. Sure, stalkers might wait years to pounce…but that teacher in your child’s school or that clerk at your local super market have just as much potential to be dangerous to your family as the person you have talked to on the net for two years.

Basically, I think there is no right or wrong way to do this. Your comfort level is what is most important and if your not comfortable doing something, then look within and decide if it’s overly cautious, fear of the unknown or just plain smart.

We are a tech age. We need to learn to be smart and teach our children to be smart about technology.

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