When I was going over my son’s 2008-2009 student handbook I noted an interesting section in the "code of conduct" dedicated to social networking web sites (i.e. Facebook, MySpace). Apparently, inappropriate content on a student’s page can be grounds for punishment. And the school’s invocation of punitive measures makes sense —it’s a reflection of what’s happening in the real world.

Your/your kid’s cyber-life is by no means personal.

Yesterday morning on my favorite radio station Gordon Keith and the gang were talking about the subject of employers “googling” names of potential employees, and they read several e-mails from listeners who had lost job opportunities because of personal info and pictures they’d posted online. With age, I’ve learned not to put in writing —online, e-mail or anywhere— stuff I don’t want the world to see. But a lot of young people don’t get it.

The whole online networking concept is genius and wonderful, but can be powerfully dangerous if used recklessly —like so much of modern technology. When I was a tween/ teen, my mom used to snoop around my room (yes, Mom, you know you did). Today parents can get a glimpse into their children’s lives sitting at a computer … but so can everyone else.