The blogging community is awesome. I’m sure all of you agree. We read about each other’s lives, we leave validation in the forms of comments and emails; we rally around crises together and support each other’s businesses. It’s a large sisterhood we’ve got going on here. It’s a wonderful one.
We feel safe with each other. We understand each other. But, even in this environment of love and friendship there is something I just don’t get. I just don’t get at all.
It’s like laying out a Welcome Mat for Trouble.
It’s like sending a Pedophile a personalized invitation.
It’s like waving a banner that says, “Here I am! Hurt me!”
What could I possibly be talking about? I’m talking about the information that I occasionally come across on public blogs that literally makes me wince. For example: Pictures of the front of the family home. Pictures of children standing outside their classrooms –which include their teacher’s name and room number, complete addresses and phone numbers, invitations which include date, time, and directions to a person’s house. Information, in short, that can lead a “stranger danger” right to your front door.
It’s a scary thing folks, it seriously is.
I saw a news report a while back where some reporters set up an experiment with some parent volunteers. The parent stood in a room watching a reporter *a.k.a. complete stranger to their child* talk their children into getting into a car with them. Parent after parent stood in shock as their child who “would never get into a car with a stranger” got into the car. Over and over again.
Think about it. You have no way of knowing who exactly is checking in on your blog. Chances are that the people who do read your blog know what you look like, know what children look like, know their names, know their interests… You get the idea.
A long time ago a friend of mine was in an abusive marriage. She was able to get her and her daughter away. She has since remarried and has some more adorable children. Well guess who recently showed up at her door one night, when her husband wasn’t home? Her ex-husband. How did he find her? Her neighbor’s blog.
It’s a true story.
I’d just like to remind all of you that what you share with us, you are also sharing with the rest of the world. Be careful about what you’re posting. It’ll help keep you and your family (and possibly your neighbor’s family too) safe.
That’s all. I am now stepping off my soapbox.
Heather likes to think of herself as A Goddess in Progress, which is where she normally spills out the personal triumphs, failures, discoveries, and random details of her life.