See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

TMI



Too Much Information.

I've mentioned it before, but one ought to beware of sharing too much personal information online.   I mentioned it once before to a regular commenter who, over time, shared some of his background in the com box, only to reveal his name when challenged to do so.  I advised him not to do that and removed the comment.  He's a young man and has his entire life before him, future employers or future friends could come across such personal information and who knows how they will interpret it.

Many people online like to share their conversion stories or some anecdotal experience to help another person struggling with issues similar to what they may have worked through.  It's a very compassionate thing to do, in a Good Samaritan sort of way, but I would be careful about revealing a great many personal details.  It's up to you of course, but if you are younger, realize your position in life is apt to change, you may get married - or divorced, go for a better job - or lose the one you have because of what you wrote, and your online stories and comments will most likely follow you everywhere.

I mentioned this fact once in a post about a woman who over time has posted detailed accounts of her conversion from a rather debauched past.  She has children now, a good husband, and all sorts of degrees and probably about six years of really devout Catholic living in her resume.  Someday the kids might read all about mommy's sins.  Like I said, it's up to you what you want to reveal.  Some people will be edified, and many more will likely be encouraged by your example.  Others - maybe not so much.  Likewise, when it comes to dramatic conversion stories, it can be a lot to live up to.  Remember Corapi.

Be discreet. 

Then Jesus said to the leper he had cured:
"See to it that you tell no one.  Go and show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses prescribed.  That should be the proof they need.*" - Matthew 8:4 
*For some lepers who have been cured, it's not - so it may be better to keep it to yourself.
Just saying. 

Art: Good Samaritan, 1904, artist unknown. 

7 comments:

  1. I was dreaming last night about this very topic!A priest I know once told me that caution in self-expression was a good thing. Not that I particularly listened! But you are right to address this because I think children can be adversely affected by their mother's ramblings! Mea culpa..

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  2. Terry - very good advise. A friend of mine, now deceased, shared an early after school childhood story with me. While sitting in the kitchen eating snacks his mother prepared, she chatted w/friends openly about how she had considered aborting him, totally oblivious that he could hear, until another mother nodded in his direction to get her attention. Her response to him was something like, "I am glad I didn't ... I love you" Anyway, he told me that he loved his mother very much, but that afternoon something inside severed him from his mother. Doctor Laura (is she still around), also advised parents that your children do not have a 'right' to know your past sins. It is best not to share them in their youth or ever. I think the Oprah-tell-all and internet has been a catalyst for parents and their kiddies to reveal way too much ... as well as allowing other sins to flourish.

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  3. pml beat me to it. i was just about to say it's the 'oprah effect.' there's a deep need in each of us to be known by another, but we've lost the virtue of prudence (and i count myself among these ... it's something i'm constantly chewing on).

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  4. Terry, what a fantastic point you make. Prudence is always called for. A lot of people share their dirty laundry to relive themselves of burden - it's selfish really. Sometimes burdens are meant for us to carry, maybe as penance or something.

    Anyway - your post touched a nerve, in a good way I suppose. You'll see my meaning some day.

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  5. ps- that word should be "relieve"

    pps- I am using your lost sheep post. That was a mighty fine post too.

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    1. I'm relieved - haha. Thanks.

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  6. Point well-taken :) thanks, Terry.

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