There seems to be a Facebook group for everyone about everything. I belong to several local mom Facebook groups, a school moms group and a few others based on my interests. For the most part, these groups are a fabulous resource – somewhere to go to get information from like-minded people, share stories and even get support.
Recently, there have been a few incidents in my mama world that have made me think we should all put a little more thought into what our Facebook “relationships” really are. Over the last couple of weeks, in my groups alone, I’ve observed the following somewhat disturbing situations:
1) A mom posted on a small community group that her kid had something contagious over the holiday season. She wanted to give all the mamas a “heads up” in case their kids showed symptoms. When her kid went back to school after the holidays, some other children ridiculed the child for having the contagious condition. Yep, clearly a mom in the Facebook group told her children the info the other mom had considerately shared. The result was a child being made fun of and a mother feeling like she betrayed the trust of her child.
2) A woman had a little rant on a community Facebook group about her husband. Someone on the group notified the husband and shared the content of the rant.
3) A woman was concerned about how her child’s school was handling a situation and looked to the Facebook group for support and ideas. Someone in the group forwarded her post to the school principal.
People use these groups as a resource, thinking they’re sharing with trusted friends who will keep their confidence. Apparently, this is not the case. It seems you are not chatting or venting to girlfriends. It is important to remember that in social media, anything you post can potentially become public. Even in a private group, you can’t be sure who the other members are.
Let this serve as a warning. You may be sharing with trusted friends, along with friends who have poor judgment. You may actually be sharing with nameless, faceless strangers. While I am a big believer in online communities and participate in many, like any relationships, we must go into them with our eyes wide open.