Facebook: To Share Or Not To Share
Facebook the ever evolving and changing place to be found on the web right now. When you weren’t a member, you simply couldn’t understand why people spent so much time on it. Now that you are a member (talk about social peer pressure!) you can’t remember what it is like to have ever lived without it.
I ran across a great article today on the web from Huffington Post, about what you should not post on Facebook and I wanted to share it. It is a simple article, mostly set to visuals with a short and sweet list of suggestions of what not to do. If you are concerned about your privacy and also have the knowledge on how to protect that privacy, then most of this information is not new. However, if you care and are not sure what to worry about – then this list is for you. Go check it out.
While Facebook is always changing and trying to find a way to make money, your information is rolling around like loose change in a pant pocket in the dryer. Sometimes it will stay in the pocket the entire time, sometimes it gets out and starts making all kinds of noise. Well the same goes with your phone number, street address, mother’s maiden name or any tidbit that you share with Facebook at any time. If you don’t know how much privacy you actually want or need in your social media activities, think about it this way. Is there anyone in the world that would make you cringe if they had your current information? If the answer is no, then just be smart about what you are willing to share. If the answer is no, then you should not be on Facebook at all.
There are no permanent manuals or long standing rules that apply to the world of the web. The web is fluid and always evolving by its nature. We as users have to develop a new mindset on how to evaluate media and mediums. We grew up with learning that peer reviewed articles and reference books were to be trusted, valued and respected. But how can you tell the difference between sources on the web? They are not sorted on a shelf or restricted access as in a library.
It’s up to the users of the web to step back and realize that while we “feel” we are local on the web with our small group of “approved” friends, and regular hot spots we virtually travel to everyday; we must also be aware we are simultaneously available on the same method of transmission to a “global” level. We are now accessing the local through a global means. I could go on for days about the fascinating topic of glocalization, but to remain associated to this story, it is sufficient to stay that people are getting to comfortable with their Facebook now.
We are getting comfortable with our friend Facebook and our myopic view of our world and forgetting that we are able to have a small world experience because we are accessible to the larger world at the same time. Side Note: A professor in college always said, “There is no such thing as “the world at large” and hated when new persons used that saying – so I side stepped it.
It’s time to remember that when we share anything on the web, we are potentially making it available to the “outside” world. If not now, then possibly in the future. If that makes you shiver, then you need to invest your time into learning about proxies, privacy and security and not on updating your status.
How should you handle this? I approach all my online accounts with the idea that if I don’t want it to be printed and saved, I use the phone. If I am willing to advertise my business, and I am my own business then the information I am sharing will be things that I could show my parents. (Whether they understood or not is a different story.) If something is more of a personal nature then I deal with that via my email or face to face. There is that old fashioned option of facing people and we have to remember that the web is only a new way to communicate and share with each other. Not the only way.