Love it or loathe it, we're only just beginning to recognize the high stakes involved with social media.
The same Facebook that unites far-flung grandparents with newborn grandchildren and helps liberate the oppressed can also shatter lives and destroy careers with the click of a Send button. The same Twitter that is indispensible to the young can be utterly extraneous to their elders.
The fact that one of the year's biggest political scandals revolved around former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner sending inappropriate photos of himself to women via Twitter attests to the growing realization that social media is rapidly redefining the boundaries between our public and private lives.
And when we overstep that boundary, the cost can be dear, as we'll see in this survey of those who ran afoul of social media and paid the price.
"It's a double-edged sword," says Ted Tafaro, CEO of Exceptional Risk Advisors in Mahwah, N.J. "The same thing that makes social media so great also makes it so dangerous."
James Kane, president of HUB International Personal Insurance in Chicago, agrees.
"If you think you're online in a secure manner, you're crazy. The world is listening," he says.