Most of us leave behind an ever-growing digital trail that includes information that we publish about ourselves -- such as Facebook postings -- and information published about us. While the ability to share personal information can enhance our lives, there is a dark side. Embarrassing photos of us socialising, for example, can later be used against us for very different purposes, such as in the employment context.

As our personal lives become more visible, it may be that social attitudes will adjust, so we become more tolerant and forgiving of personal lapses or foibles. But one of the paradoxes of the digital age is that just as our lives have become more transparent, attitudes seem to have become more intolerant and less forgiving. In what is called the attention economy, not only public figures but ordinary people are subject to more scrutiny than ever.