15/07/2013 11:17 BST | Updated 11/09/2013 06:12 BST

Should You Undo Your Own Digital Footprint?


Remember yourself before kids? Remember how fun you were? That time you woke up in a different county and didn't know how you got there but knew a fun story was involved? Or that incredibly fun holiday where one of your party broke an arm dancing? Or the fun and frolics you used to get up to on those crazy work away days? Yep. What do you think your kids will think of that 'fun' person? Right...

If my own parents enjoyed debauched and wild lives before my sister and I came along, a) I'd be very happy for them, b) I would never find out unless they chose to tell me and c) I'd feel a bit icky if I did find out.

In 2013, my own kids just have to be able to scroll back far enough on my Facebook Timeline to see exactly the last time I got horrendously drunk and allowed someone to tag a picture of me (or was too pie-eyed to stop them), or to see me mouthing off about something, dropping the F-bomb all over the place. Or a quick Google search to unearth an old copy of my CV posted somewhere online showing I worked in a bar when I've expressly banned my own daughter from ever doing bar work. Digital footprints can unearth a whole heap of skeletons.

In short, yes there is the full-on 'internet suicide' approach. There are plenty of guides like this one from CNET: 'How to delete yourself from the internet', which show you how to systematically remove yourself and your trail of destructive photographs and ill-advised comments, permanently.

But do you really want to remove yourself from the net forever? After all, as you tear your work down, your kids are increasingly building their own little castles all over it. You need to be online because that's where your kids are.

The reality is that you can spend a little time hiding the very worst of yourself on Facebook, deleting your most atrocious tweets and password-protecting Flickr and then beyond that, well, parenting is full of awkward little chats and perhaps this has to be just one more.

What do you think? Would you ever try to remove all trace of your younger selves?