Private? Not So Much!

June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Innocence. Connection. Relevance.

What do these three words all have in common? Many of you may be sitting in front of your computers wondering the very same thing I once did while trying to come up with these words. Well, the answer is easy…

Facebook!

Ahh, now I imagine you are making the connections…  

To me, Facebook was an innocent, entertainingly fun way to connect with people I knew and loved from all over the world! Whether they were friends, family, or even coworkers staying in touch had never become so easy! With just one click I was instantaneously updated with the things that mattered most to the people in my very own network or ‘community’ so-to-speak. I could read about their relevant transactions as they progress through their day-to-day lives. Just like that, with a couple more clicks: wall posts, status updates, pictures, videos, games, etc. could all be captured and  then shared with the rest of the world!  Some of one’s most memorable, inspiring, and interesting moments have and continue to be uploaded and talked about right now as I sit here writing this blog. I mean how does that not sound amazing?! It certainly is…or was…

Until slowly, I began to realize that staying in touch and connected with everyone comes with a price.

Privacy. Or, should I say, lack thereof?

Watching the video below, of  Jon Friedman, a Marketwatch Media columnist, we see a simple yet ever-so-true message being presented: Facebook is not private and never will be. People need to get over it.

& That’s just it! Facebook is a social network site, which believe it or not, is a place where people have the intention to broadcast their existence for everyone else (in their social bubble and beyond) to know about. Particularly, what they are doing, where they are going, and with whom they are spending their time. However, what we fail to realize is that other, personal information such as one’s place of work, intimate interests, age, exactly whom their friends and family are, and even down to the very small detail of what school they go to can essentially all be found and revealed on Facebook.  As such, I think it’s safe to say, nothing about Facebook is private! Especially with the introduction of the new TimeLine layout that Facebook has created–and will soon be enforcing upon all it’s users–it seems one’s digital footprint of everything they have done, said, and been too since creation of their account will soon be neatly organized according to the year, month, and specific day and time!

Facebook’s Privacy Erosion Strategy from Matt McKeon. Shaded areas went from Private (by default) in 2005 to Public (by default) in 2010.   Scary huh?!

Nevertheless, with that being said, it’s also fair to say, that we do live in a world where privacy IS important to us. Therefore, I want to make it clear that I am by no means saying we have NO control over how to protect ourselves while online and ‘innocently’ attempting to entertain ourselves. In fact, there are several ways in which one can help protect their privacy while on Facebook. Consumer Report.org offers some great tips worthy of looking at that aim to help control what others see and know about you.

*Furthermore, and this cannot be stressed enough, if someone is looking for ultimate privacy,

then choosing to have a Facebook account is probably NOT the way to go!*

On a final note, deciding to remain broadcasting one’s life on such a massive social-networking platform, like  Facebook, was never enforced upon us and as we all can see, with it’s many advantages comes some serious limitations. Thus, it has become abundantly clear, when we clicked  ‘activate account’ it meant we were giving up ‘ultimate security and privacy.’ Entering us into an era like no other–where employers can know what you’re doing in and out of work (and even fire you for it); where stalkers and predators can gain insight into your personal information and whereabouts so easily; and ultimately a place where we to choose ignorantly disregard the scary truth.

This was a gamble we choose to partake and a crazy load of issues we will just have to deal with.
Until next time.

Cheers,

-H.A.

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