There is a word for what the internet and social media have done to us: alienation. It means, literally, selling yourself into slavery, from the Latin for slave alienus. The word has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy, particularly in Plato and the Stoics, who warned that if you place too much value on your reputation or image, you enslave yourself to the fickle opinion of the public.
The real fear comes from being judged. I'm a selective misanthrope and I do my selecting by watching your social media output. Some of you come across incredibly well but I think some of you are oblivious twats. I hate you. I'd never delete you though - you're my entertainment, my soap opera, my catharsis.
Far too many people still think of the internet as a veil which they can hide behind and maintain an online persona that is private; the truth is somewhat more disturbing: The internet is a reflection of exactly who you are and if you're looking to impress, you'd better make sure that your reflection is a true and fair depiction of exactly who you are.
To anyone who shares life so freely all I'd say is be careful, protect yourself and the day you find yourself contemplating bad news and if it's too soon to post it to Facebook, give it a miss and make a phone call or two, the sound of a familiar voice far outweighs the sympathy of 200 people you haven't seen or spoken to for as long as you can remember.
Yesterday, browsing the BBC website, knowing it was April Fool's Day, an article caught my eye that I couldn't believe would ever be possibly true. In it, I read that under a new legislation set to be announced soon, the government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK.