21 Oct

Recently my daughter celebrated a birthday.  No matter how you feel about Facebook and its ongoing tussle with privacy concerns, it has changed the way birthdays are noted.  In the pre-Facebook days, probably only a handful of friends would remember and wish her a happy birthday, maybe give her a card.  Nowadays, the social networking giant sends you weekly reminders of friends’ birthdays (for those who choose to make that public).  So two days before her birthday, she was already eagerly anticipating birthday wishes from her Facebook friends.

Sending and receiving birthday cards is now so passé.  Instead she logged on to read her birthday greetings.  One after the other, the birthday wishes poured in as dozens of friends wrote on her wall.  It was as if they were lined up to wish her a happy birthday.  Some wrote in capital letters, as if they were shouting aloud their EXCITEMENT! at the event, complete with exclamation points and repetitive vowels to emphasize their enthusiasm in case you missed it. Facebook has allowed her to receive more birthday greetings than she otherwise would have and seeing all those greetings made her happy.

The younger generation is comfortable putting personal information online.  When I started this blog, I debated how much personal information can be shared with readers.  Being from an older generation (yes you read right, I just referred to myself as the older generation) I’m much more leery of putting private information on the Internet where it lives on in perpetuity, or at least until Jesus returns.  And I am aware how oxymoronic it is to write a blog and maintain privacy at the same time.  A few readers have asked about my daughter’s reaction to this blog.  Wishing to protect and respect her privacy and spare her any possible embarrassment, we agreed that she could vet the posts beforehand, just to make sure she was copacetic with the content.

Many readers have asked about what she thinks of each school.  To safeguard her privacy, I have decided not to write about her reactions to the colleges we have visited except in general terms.  After having seen a dozen colleges, she seems to like those that offer a liberal arts education with a strong Chinese language program, that are located in suburban or urban areas, and whose campuses exude buzz and student hubbub (read larger school than high school but not too large).  At least that’s what she likes today.  The teenage mind can be fickle and I wouldn’t be surprised when it’s time to apply that she had changed her mind about some of the schools.



One Response to “Privacy?”

  1. Rufus Jones October 28, 2010 at 4:32 PM #

    Very insightful and touching; humorous, too. This blog just keeps getter better and better.

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