facebook fobia

I think I’m suffering from facebook fobia.

So two weeks ago at church, my girlfriend Tricia’s husband, Mike, gave this big huge lesson on media. He basically touched on all the scariest things about blogging and facebooking and twittering–it was enough to give me the total and complete computer willies.

Because let’s face it, I make my living by talking about my most personal life (okay, maybe not a living, but enough petty cash to get a new blouse every month). And when he started talking about just how not private facebook is, it really put me over the edge.

See, I don’t spend a whole lot of time perusing the internet or drooling over old boyfriends on facebook (okay, maybe just a little time), but I do have plenty of myself in plenty of public places. And it’s not such a big deal for me, but my husband? Probably not so healthy that his life is such an accessible piece of business.

However, after ruminating on this very tricky subject for a good 42 minutes, I realized something important: I have yet to hear of a mommy blogger who has had her kids abducted because she wrote about them on a regular basis. In fact, anyone who actually reads about my parenting woes would probably be more than happy to let me keep the little dumplings–it’s not like I live in a world of clean faces and streak free undies, you know what I mean?

I think the real problem we face isn’t internet privacy (since in today’s world, you basically have to be computer free to keep your personal information under wraps), it’s letting the computer take over our lives. I have really strict internet rules for myself, because part of me instinctively knows that this little piece of synthetic material has the potential to be more detrimental to my mommying than a full-time job. I’m not about to let that happen.

So I never spend more than one hour a day on the computer (usually not all at once). Because let’s face it, the laundry isn’t going to wash itself. What about you?


  1. Yes I am one of the few people out of friends who doesn’t have a private blog. Honestly, private blogs drive me nuts. They’re a pain to check. But then I too think I’m being bad by having this stuff out there on the net, and frequently get the lecture.

  2. I totally agree. In fact, this came up at the meeting you missed. Boo. I really do believe there is way too much fearmongering out there. I do think you need to be careful and not post your home address, social security number, etc., but I don’t think that by posting your child’s first name, your kid is going to be all Elizabeth Smarted. I don’t even really know what that means.

    BTW, are you coming to my Snuggie lunch? You signed up, but I know how you and your pregnancy brain are.

  3. My facebook is private to those on my networks, so I feel safe. And now my last name (and first) isn’t on my blog anymore, so I think I’m okay.

  4. DANGIT. Here I go, posting with my real first name. MEH.

    • annie valentine says:

      Don’t worry Julie, I’m sure no one reading this blog is going to put down their diaper bag and come stock you.

  5. I started using blog names for privacy reasons at first, but I keep it up now because it’s fun. I have a facebook badge on my blog, for Google’s sake. And my blog linked to my FB newsfeed. I’m not terribly worried about privacy anymore.

    Though I admit that I spend more than an hour online every day. Our computer is right in between the kitchen and living room and therefore calls out to me every time I pass by. Which is about 176 times a day. I used to keep it off more often because it took so long to boot up that I wouldn’t bother. But we have a new computer now and it only takes 15 seconds to boot up. Not enough to deter me anymore.

  6. I’m not worried about people knowing about funny stories of my kids, what are they going to do with that information? Now, if I put on there my home address and phone number, what school’s my kids went to and when I left my car unlocked and alone, maybe I’d be worried. Just gotta be smart.

    Um, I’m lonely and I spend WAAY more than an hour on the computer every day. 🙂

  7. It seems everyone’s ward is getting this “talking to”. My nieces was more about the inappropriate relationships that are happening because of FB. I personally think that with any good tool, will come a way for it to be abused.

    It’s all about self-discipline and moderation eh? And over the past couple of years that I’ve been bloggin and FBing, I have yet to have anyone stalk me or come after my family. We just aren’t that interesting : )

  8. I think you are right on the money. It’s about moderation and common sense, although common sense appears to be a lost attribute.

  9. And let’s face it, my little darlings are kicking me off so they can get on and play their favorite games!

  10. That was a thoughtful post, Annie. I think you have a very sensible approach, for what it’s worth. I like your self-imposed time-limit.

  11. girlblogger says:

    Maybe you have a spelling phobia too…as you misspelled it.

    • annie valentine says:

      What?! Fobia is spelled with a ph? And I thought it was just a natural illiteration.

  12. Hmmm, I’m not so worried about stalking, rather I like knowing who my audience is. Having a private blog I feel more freedom about sharing my days than I did when it was public and I was receiving oddly timed, anonymous, rude comments. There are several more reasons as to why it is private, but the main reason is for my kids. I went nuts when my MIL posted my kids full names and birthdays on her facebook page. That was an identity theft opportunity issue for me. And also that information is not hers to share (frankly it’s not mine either) it’s my kids’. So I keep such information close because that is what works for me and my family. It isn’t for everyone. Thank heavens for customizable privacy settings. We can all choose what works for our situation.

  13. My brother is an idiot. He has his full name and where he lives on his blog. He’s just asking for his identity to be stolen! I also just learned of three women (in the last 24 hours) who’ve admitted to having affairs as a result of reconnecting with old flames on FB.

    And frankly, I seriously doubt that anyone crazier than me reads my blog so there will definitely be no stalkers for me.

    I think these scare-a-monies are really just “YOU SPEND TOO MUCH TIME ON THE INTERNET, GO CLEAN THE HOUSE AND COOK ME A CHICKEN POT PIE, WOMAN!” messages in disguise.

  14. I spend way more than an hour a day on the computer. But I have to do boring stuff like work and poo and not nearly enough time reading blogs and stalking ex’s on facebook (and I don’t even have a twitter account because I’ve never understood why people would be interested in anything I’m doing.) Plus I have like 50 blogs, so I keep the one with most of my kids’ info and family stuff private. Not that anyone really reads that one, but at least it’s a good journal; and if anyone ever gets the urge to stalk me, at least they’d have to hack in first, right?

  15. I think its interesting how people are blaming the internet for all the bad behavior when its people making choices.

    The internet can be a source for good– when used properly. We talked about that ALOT at that meeting you missed. It was interesting to hear that particular organizations take on it. Much different than what is being preached in the trenches.

    Can’t wait to see you THURSDAY!