Monday, April 5, 2010

Facebook Privacy Files: Wow! You went to Disney World last year?

I don’t know you from Adam, but we both know Joe. Couldn’t help but noticing where you took your wife, your son with the Yankees cap, and your daughter with the cute teddy bear tucked under her arm on vacation last November. And your labradoodle is adorable. Nice swing set in the backyard too. Why do I know all this about you? Um, excuse me, but your Facebook is showing.

Indeed, your personal life has unfolded before my eyes. The birthdays, the holiday family gathering, vacations, dance recitals, sport events, and just hanging out in the backyard. The big question is….why do you want ME to know about it? Yes indeed, Social Media is supposed to be social, but to what extent?

Well, one thing I’ve discovered is that good old fashioned ignorance has a lot to do with my exposure to your life. People just don’t realize their Facebook profiles can be seen by all. They just don’t know! In a small way, I’ve attempted to enlighten a few folks about this, with my suspicion being that easy access to their lives is not their true preference.

Whenever I come across an old acquaintance on Facebook that I’ve not yet friended, in addition to extending the olive branch of eternal virtual connectivity, I inform them that their profiles are “100% public”. They aren’t really, but I do need to get my point across. If you’re not a part of Facebook, you won’t see those profiles. But for the millions that are on Facebook, the information is there to taste and digest and do who knows what with.

For the most part the reactions I’ve received sound something like this: “Whoa, I didn’t know; how do I fix that?” For a few others, there’s been no response at all except for the acceptance of the friendship. Well, okay then.

My advice? Check those privacy settings. It takes all of two minutes to do so. And it's fairly intuitive too, almost simple. In the upper right of any Facebook page, click on Account, Privacy Settings, Profile Information, and check your settings. If you want the world to see your information, as least make it an educated choice.


Anonymous said...

ok! I really didn't know this either! going to change th right now!!!

Mary in Alabama

nancy said...

Love your new logo (and now if you'll excuse me I'm gonna go check my privacy settings.) Of course anyone can look at Hornbeck Design Partners.

Barry Morse said...

Heck, I don't think I knew that, either!


Anonymous on Circle Avenue

Scott Spencer-Wolff said...

Congratulations on the look of everything but the background. But, I'm sure you have a logic to it.

I'm not sure about the open information being a bad thing. I guess it kind of is anyway, if one is willing to look - and something about the transparency of it all feels OK to me - but then I drive a convertible if that tells you something about my penchant for being in the open. And, I think that comes from a long life of having too many secrets.

Anyway, I enjoy Facebook because it gives me just the right amount of contact with people I really care about, would cry over if something happened to them, but don't want to do lunch, coffee, Christmas or much else with - at least very often.

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice and yet a market researchers dream of data.....AB

Sandhya Larsen said...

At this point in my life, I'm trying to develop enough confidence to happily share who I am, what I think, and what I'm doing, just like lots of other folks. Facebook offers a way of doing this that isn't quite as threatening as going all out with new people in person. I still don't post very much information about myself...I simply respond to the postings of others, and sometimes the conversations that occur are disturbing. Many people out there don't realize that trying to "fix" people (we're talking total strangers here) is not socially acceptable. Fun or un-fun, most of these musings are quite transient. People jump into an enthusiastic chat, but are gone tomorrow, never to be heard from again. On the other hand, I've met some brand-new Facebook friends (must have been my less-than-totally private settings that made them notice me!) who have turned out to be fantastic additions to my life.