I had no online identity as a child. From 18 only an email address, an ICQ account which I doubt any logs survive from, all my old text messages are gone. I joined Facebook around 27, I’ve got a twitter account but I’ve never tweeted much.
I’m really glad about that. I found some of my old diaries and notebooks when my parents moved house. There’s nothing salacious in them but I still wouldn’t want them published. Writing things down is a useful way to help yourself understand them but that necessarily means that when you start writing, you don’t yet understand. Add that to a typical teenage lack of awareness and you get something which, out of context, is pretty cringe worthy.
That’s not what happens now. These days we can all read a young MP’s tweets from the age of 14*. So privacy and control of your online identity are now a real issue. As the boys grow up, I obviously want them to continue to be able to be open with me, so I should probably stop these posts being visible to the world. It seems insanely early to be worrying about this but with starting school this year, anything I write will potentially still be visible by the end of junior school when his peers will be more than capable of finding it.
* We have an MP who was 14 while Twitter existed ?.