Military mama: Take care with online life

We live our lives online these days. Between social networking and Skype with our loved ones, the military spouse is often well-connected. There’s a lot of information readily available when we are in need of resources. But we do also need to be mindful of how much and what kind of information we are making accessible to the world as well.

Now, for me to be discussing this is quite humorous because I am all over the place. Go ahead, Google me. My internet trail is long, and as a queen dabbler I have spanned across many fields between my hobbies and interests. I live my life very publicly, but I do certainly try to keep my cards held close to my chest when it comes to my family.

But, one thing that I do take very seriously is my children’s safety. We all know about OPSEC, whether in detail or as a general concept. We know not to say too much when it comes to information about the active duty member of our household.

After having lived in anticipation of a homecoming from deployment, I definitely understand how exciting it can be to be counting down the days for a reunion. For a long time I questioned why it is a no-no to distribute specific information about these travel dates, because I was only thinking in terms of some horrible attack on a rotator. That concept to me was something out of a Rambo movie. It seemed too far removed to be a valid concern in my mind, though I’m sure that is still part of the reason behind the concept.

But then, I had a far more veteran wife explain something to me in terms I haven’t forgotten. Do you really want to advertise that the man of the house is gone? I had never thought in terms of my personal safety. Or now, more importantly, the safety of my children and my home.

I know that it’s hard not to overshare when you’re feeling frustrated and alone. In these instances less is more. There is a reason to be vague. This really does apply toward more things than countdowns. Ladies and gentlemen, may I be the mama bear for a moment and remind you that once something is out there in cyberspace it tends to stay that way? So, do think carefully before you vent your emotions, pointing fingers or otherwise losing your cool. We often think, it’s just between friends, but even with quite stringent privacy settings you’d be amazed at how far your rantings may reach.

Technology can be a blessing and a curse, so before you post in a fit of emotion or desperation think about going old fashioned and just punching a pillow, there’s most certainly less long-term potential for damage that way. Keep it light, keep it funny and keep it as secure as possible and safely keep in touch.