Some things should stay in the past

Facebook makes it real easy for your past to come back, either to bring you back some happiness, or to haunt you.

Sometimes you’ll read stories about how high school sweethearts got married decades later after finding each other on Facebook.

But then there are moments when things that should stay in the past refuse to do so, like when adopted children are contacted by their birth parents:

…the agencies warn that the existing rules protect often extremely vulnerable children. Where once adoption tended to involve a young, single woman giving up her unplanned baby, now two-thirds of adopted children have been removed because their parents abused or neglected them. In many cases, the birth parents dispute the removal, blaming social services. One message sent to a child given up some years ago for adoption read: “Hello, I’m your birth father. I have been searching for you ever since you were stolen by social services. You look beautiful. I love you so much.”

If there’s a problem with making a “more open and connected world” it’s that it forces people to acknowledge the status of a personal connection. We’ve never had to do that before, at least at a scale like this. In some cases connections are better left being ambiguous.