The luminous squares of our digital lives

In Why You Won’t See My Child (Or Even His Name) On Facebook Caitlin Shetterly explains why she and her husband never post anything identifiable about their son online. My wife and I have some guidelines around the kind of stuff we post about our daughters too, albeit much less strict. This part got to me, though:

One of my favorite poems is called “Les Fenêtres” (“Windows”), by the French Symbolist poet Charles Baudelaire. In it, Baudelaire writes about looking out his own window and into those of his neighbors: “What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what goes on behind a window pane. In that black and luminous square life lives, life dreams, life suffers.” […]

In our lives today, once we put up our luminous squares on Facebook, we can’t really take them back. There is no curtain to close, no window to board up — they’re out there forever, no matter what you delete.

That’s something to keep in mind. Every photo is a window that can’t be boarded up.