MY VERY BEST ADVICE

The other day, I had one of the increasingly rare moments alone with my granddaughter. She has been going through a prolonged siege of the teenage girl crazies, a ghastly combination of hormones, young men, job hunting, and high drama.

Clearly, she was in need of my best advice.

“If you are going to be crazy, be crazy,” I said. “I was a basket case at your age. It’s a girl thing. But trust me. You really can trust me on this. Everything gets better. Not very long from now, you’ll look back on this time and wonder why you were so upset.”

Then I gave her that best advice: “Be crazy. Just don’t publish it online. Your great-grandchildren will be finding your Facebook posts and laughing their asses off. Worse, your future employers will be finding them too, not to mention your potential life-partners, business associates, friends and co-workers. College professors. Have fun. Be wild and crazy, but don’t publish it.”

Life can be a bowl of cherries ... if you are discreet!

Life can be a bowl of cherries … if you are discreet!

Nothing vanishes once it’s “out there” in cyberspace. Everything is going to show up on someone’s Google search. I can find posts I wrote — supposedly private — from more than twenty years ago.

If you post it on any form of social media? It’s a land mine on which you will eventually step. Anything you do is just a rumor — if it remains unpublished. You retain plausible deniability. Hang onto that.

25 thoughts on “MY VERY BEST ADVICE

  1. Well, I don’t post much about myself, but I wonder what the squirrels think about me posting pictures of them, and showing off their antics, on my public blog? What do their spouses, children, employers think when they find them? Maybe I should mind my own business….

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    • You know what terrible gossips those squirrels are. They can’t help it. It’s in their nature to tell everything to every other squirrel they meet. But you’re in luck since most people don’t speak squirrel. Phew. What a relief!

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    • And that was bad enough. They need to self-monitor on this because there’s no way to stop them for doing a lot of very unwise stuff. I was lucky. Kaity had had a number of bad experiences with mean girls and Facebook. My warnings sowed seeds in fertile ground.

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      • That would be such a hard one to deal with. I don’t remember girls being that mean when I was growing up. Yes, there were a few older girls who bullied me a bit in high school, but it was just one or two incidents. I can’t imagine going thought what girls today do! And boys. Such cruelty. I think movies and videos give them such bad ideas to add to what they concoct on their own!!!

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        • It was pretty bad when I was in school. I suspect it depends on the child and the school and the neighborhood. Sensitive, oddball kids get bullied. Especially those of us who talked differently or were book worms and not athletic. Just being different … or being particularly sensitive. Bullies sense who can be bullied. Maybe they smell us.

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  2. Good advice, Marilyn. One of my daughters had a dispute with her then boyfriend on Facebook. When it got too contentious, one of her sisters telephoned her and told her to knock it off because everyone in the world could see it. She hadn’t thought of that in the heat of the moment.

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    • Kids don’t think twice about using Facebook or Twitter as if it were a private telephone. Then they are horrified when they are trying to get into college and everything they ever wrote is there, being judged. It’s a lesson best learnt early.

      Liked by 1 person

      • easy to forget that anything online is a diary written for a bazillion readers. I realized that when I hit my first message boards in the late 90s: suddenly I could see an amphitheater and we were all in it, but around the outside edge were all those people watching, little eyes glowing in the reflected light. You just dont know who is reading, saving stuff, waiting.
        It’s what keeps me polite (most of the time) and careful. And even personal ‘private” correspondence isnt, as long as the other person has a save file and you’re in it. Yikes.
        Excellent advice. Too bad some of our elected (and not elected) officials didnt pay more attention, too.

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        • It is pretty good advice. When I started using the Internet, we didn’t know much about it, so we were very relaxed about it. Fortunately, I’ve always been careful, even when I wasn’t thinking about it. Still, there are things I wish I had never posted. Not many, but a few. The kids, though … they don’t even think about it. The act like it’s their personal telephone system.

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