Now that Facebook is like the largest social networking site ever one needs to be aware of the attempts of individuals to exploit the culture of the network to find out information they should not be privy to. Most of you will think that I am just saying this because of my fascination with Twitter, but the fact that Facebook encourages you to display a lot of pertinent information about yourself is reason enough for concern. The bottom line is that the latest changes that have been made to Facebook encourage transparency as they are not doing everything that they can to encourage privacy anymore.
My own settings have removed me from the search engines, and restricted my data to friends of friends. I am thinking about changing that to just friends because when I have actually attempted to speak with friends of friends who have requested my friendship I ended up in some strange conversations that I felt were geared to get into my business. I would prefer that someone truly get to know me for who I am. I also received a message from someone who obviously was not the friend that I thought I had on Facebook, but someone else using their profile.
Individuals that are so called friends that never respond to me in any way shape or form I am going to “unfriend”. The only exception will be my wife, because I talk to her a lot in person I don’t have any reason to talk to her on the computer. This will be difficult to do because you cannot terminate your relationships in bulk like you can on Twitter. I have set all of my privacy settings to “only friends”.
The problem that I have with Facebook is that the service encourages you to promote yourself in strange ways. In real life you actually have to tell people what your real name is, even your average celebrity can create some stage name they are known by to differentiate their stage persona from who they really are. With Facebook it would appear that you want everyone to know everything, even that which you have shared with an individual or a group of people that are not even your friends. Why in the hell would I want everyone to know what I am talking about in a group, or those that have accepted my friendship requests or those I accepted friendship requests by when they do not know these individuals personally.
I used to accept friend requests from people who saw my posts in groups, and those experiences were often more interesting that those from people I used to know in real life. But I should not have to tell everyone else I know because quite honestly, it is not your business to know. The only person who should privy to such information is my wife. It is not about paranoia but the principles of telling individuals who do not know anything about you about yourself on Facebook. I block all of the third party applications.
If you want to play games do so elsewhere on the Internet where applications do not have pertinent information that can be used against you in real life. I am sick of going back to my profile to micromanage what information is on there that I do not care to be visible on my wall when the service used to do that for me in the past. Facebook is only going to become more intrusive in the future and will require even more transparency than it already does at the moment. It may have been a great idea back in the day but it seems to have morphed into a disingenuous social experiment that will eventually hold information about every breathing creature on this planet. The fact that you one can never truly remove all of their information from the service should have told me everything that I ever needed to know about it …