Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 151 of 365

It would seem a bit hypocritical for me to say this, but people put too much information out there on the internet.

Here's the issue I'm seeing. I'm part of a quilting website. I visit that website every day. I get to see quilts others have made, learn about different quilting techniques, and find out how others organize things. That's where I learned how to wrap my fabric on the comic book boards. I learned what a crumb quilt was, and there is where I learned about the Quilts for Kids Organization, the pillowcase/presentation cases for Quilts of Valor, and the Turtle Pillow project for the Hole in the Wall Camp. I've received free fabric from people giving things away, and I myself have sent some free fabric to others.

But there are a couple sections on that website where folks post pictures of their kids/grand kids. Most recently, a gal posted a picture of her grand kids (all under age) with their first names, their ages, and the town they live in. The gal who posted these pictures uses her real name, so it wouldn't take much for someone to track the kids down.

Another one bugging me happened last month. A very proud mom was showing off her elementary age student's picture from (I think) Kindergarten graduation. The picture was of the child and the principal, and then one with the child and teacher. The parent gave us her child's name, the principal's name, and the teacher's name. And the name of the school.

Here's the thing - if you're an adult and you're stupid enough to put your picture and enough information out there to get traced back to you, it's your own problem. But putting kids' info out there? And what about unsuspecting adults (like the principal and teacher) who have no idea they're being photographed and identified for posting on the internet?

Which is why you'll never find me putting pictures of people I know on my blog. I work hard at not identifying people by name (a couple times I slipped up). I won't identify where I work, what my job title is, or my full name. While I'm putting my life out there for all to read, I'm doing it as anonymously as I can. When I first started this blog, I didn't really expect anyone else to read it. Was I ever wrong. Getting close to 5,000 people so far. It's not that I don't trust you, it's that I don't trust those I don't know.

And it worries me that others aren't taking the same approach. I have plans to go to a quilting retreat (of folks from the quilting board) but am reconsidering it as I frequently see photos posted on the website of retreat attendees, identified by name. Not sure I wanna go there.

But I'm not going to worry about it now. It's time to enjoy a peaceful Sunday. And a peaceful orange sky.