Doctor Love: Goody-Bye Dear Diary

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

Readers, email your question to [email protected]. Your letters are edited solely for grammar, spelling and length

Dear Doctor Love,
When I was a young girl I was given my first diary. It had a lock and a little key and I hid it in my room so nobody could find it. I wrote my thoughts and dreams and deepest secrets in that book. I kept a diary until I left home for college and I still have those diaries hidden away in a box.
That was long ago and now I have a teenage daughter of my own. Times have changed and diaries have evolved into social media. When I let her get her own social media page I warned her against posting very private matters because people besides her intended audience might be able to read them. She thinks there’s nothing to worry about and she details every thought, every hurt and every little thing that pops into her head on her social media page.
I’ve tried to explain that once it is on the internet it doesn’t ever go away. I’ve told her that what hurts today will lose significance over time. She says she has to vent and her friends on the internet help her work through problems.
Am I being old fashioned and overly protective? Should I just go with the times and give up arguing with her about this or should I set boundaries for her that I doubt she will keep?
/s/Good-Bye Dear Diary

Dear Diary,
Gone are the days of privacy and keeping one’s own council. The internet and social media are here to stay and they offer a public platform on which to share thoughts and ideas and rage against indignities.
Young people have no idea how damaging this can be to their future or how easy it is to be misinterpreted. Your pleas to cease and desist will fall on deaf ears and there are ways for your daughter to get around any restrictions you place on her as far as internet access goes. Even so, you do have reason for concern and you would like to protect your daughter. A compromise might work and ease the tensions you have about this issue.
Suggest she create a private group where she can invite friends. She can control who reads her posts and she can allow the group to be as small or large as she wants. There she and her friends can vent all day and still keep some privacy from the public. You would feel more at ease knowing strangers aren’t reading her deepest thoughts and she will still have the freedom to say what ever is on her mind.


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