We were in Paris, but we were more than a mile from the attacks, enjoying a quiet Friday night dinner at an Alsatian restaurant, just as people on vacation do. Our first indication that something bad had happened wasn't the sound of gunfire or explosions, but the buzz of a text from a family member back home: "Are you ok?"
We hurried out of there, and 15 minutes later, safe in our hotel room, my husband updated his Facebook status. I did the same.
As the night wore on, I was prompted by Facebook's "Safety Check" feature: A message on my app asked, "Are you OK?" I marked myself safe. It got more than 100 likes. And that's when I started to feel guilty. Did broadcasting my safety imply that I had actually been in danger, inserting myself into a tragedy I didn't witness? Or was it just an efficient way to tell friends and family not to worry?
Chatting with fellow travelers on the train from Paris to London the next morning, some told me they found such use of social media distasteful.