A reader's random ramblings

My virtual photo album

How much is too much information in the world of social media?

Like many others around me, I’ve been guilty of over sharing at times.

Why? What possesses me to reveal so much of myself in such a public forum?

I tend to treat my Facebook page, Twitter account and blog as my personal journal/photo album.

In the olden days, I used to cart around a camera to important events in my life, take photos, and get the film developed. Then I’d put the resulting photos in an album, or if I was feeling particularly energetic or crafty, I’d even scrapbook them. The photo albums and scrapbooks provided hours of entertainment for the family, leafing through the pages playing “remember when…”

Then photography went digital and I got lazy. As I always had my phone with me, I just took photos on it, rather than carry a camera. Special events still got recorded, but the photos were trapped in my phone or in the “my pictures” folder on my computer. It just wasn’t the same.

Joining the world of social media has given me a forum for getting my photos out of my phone and into a “virtual album”. It also provides me with a place to record my thoughts about events and experiences in my life. Heaven knows that my memory isn’t the best. I don’t want to be in the position where I have no idea what happened, or when, or where!

Case in point: Alana had her fourteenth birthday this week. And while it wasn’t one of the milestone birthdays (double digits, sweet sixteen, the big four-oh), it still merits a few photos.

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Here she is blowing out the candles on her cake. What a great action shot!

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Here’s Alana and I out at dinner. So glad that we managed to capture a random in the background!

So now that I’ve acknowledged Alana’s birthday and posted a couple of photos, I feel better. Like our family will have something to look back on to remind us of the day. I always enjoyed going through photo albums of my childhood, and I want my kids to have the same opportunity, even if the experience is a little bit different.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

In a few short weeks, my family is embarking on a big adventure. I like to call it our “World Tour 2012”.

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It’s going to be an awesome experience, and I want to record it and share it.

I’ve been asked if I’m going to blog daily during the world tour. And I want to. It would be the perfect way to ensure that I capture everything for posterity. I just have one concern. If I blog in detail about an overseas holiday; and regularly post photos to Facebook, and tweet about it; do I open up our family to risks?

Will Internet savvy thieves strip our house of all its valuables? (Of course we will have a system in place to ensure that our house is not left unoccupied for days on end, but still, it’s a concern.)

Will an international gang of thieves use my posts about our travels to stalk us and pickpocket us while we are sight seeing? (I’ll grant that this concern is a little more far-fetched.)

Will broadcasting the fact that my family is overseas open us up to the risk of some high-tech-hacking-style thievery that renders our bank accounts empty? (I’m not sure if this is a thing, but I have a good imagination.)

So what do you think, dear readers? I’d be grateful for any advice or thoughts on the matter. And while you’re at it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you memorialize important events in the life of your family.

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2 comments on “My virtual photo album

  1. NewGradLibrarian
    April 25, 2012

    Hi Fiona – how exciting that your trip is that close now! I don’t know how much can be done about exposing the fact that your house is unoccupied, but you can probably avoid the problem of people pinpointing exactly where you are by blogging every day but only posting every few days – or posting once you’ve left a particular location?

    I blogged & posted to FB while I was away a few years ago with the kids, but most of the photos I didn’t post until I was back home and writing a few reflective pieces. The most important thing I did was take the photos off my camera (I didn’t have a smart phone then!) at the end of every day. I travelled with my laptop but I guess if you’re using mostly a phone (and my phone camera now is better than my camera!) then I’d be trying to upload to flickr or similar at the end of every day – so much more organised when you get home plus you can delete them off your phone as you upload so you don’t fill up memory space?

    HAVE FUN! Looking forward to seeing/hearing about it regardless!

  2. Dillypoo
    April 26, 2012

    I had those same concerns when I visited Germany two years ago. I decided to NOT use Facebook while I was there, but I did blog. Since my blog is more anonymous, and I wasn’t alerting everyone on FB about my posting, I felt OK doing it.

    Of course, we also had arrangements to keep our house safe and occupied while we were gone, but I still didn’t want to broadcast too loudly that we weren’t there.

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