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.