Sunday, February 17, 2013

Friends: Don’t Violate My Privacy!

Facebook. You know that little social network? As many of you know, I’m quite active there. My pages? Yes, they are "Public"; all are welcome to read, learn, laugh and reflect upon what I share there.

My personal profile is another matter entirely. I’m fussy about who gets to see my posts and the majority of my posts are for "Friends". Whatever I post there is meant to be enjoyed, whether it be a something scenic, silly, or members of my family. 

So what am I leading up to here?

Let me take just one example. On Valentine’s Day, I received flowers. Took a photo of them on my dining room table and posted the picture to my Friends on Facebook. Didn’t post this picture anywhere else; not on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, nor Instagram. A friend (one I know “in real life”) liked the photo and shared it on his wall. Publicly. And mentioned me by my first and last name.

Here’s the impact this share has. What my dining room looks like and the gift of flowers I received is now exposed to the eyes of over one billion people: ALL of the users of Facebook! This is NOT something I wanted! 

As luck has it, I spotted the share about three minutes after it happened and was able to contact my friend. I told him it was okay to share my photo if it was to his Friends (only). He wrote back saying that the post was a positive one. That wasn’t the point! The point was that aspects of my personal life were now visible to the masses. End result? He took the post down rather than changing it to Friends.

When I post on Facebook here’s the options I get:

My default is Friends Only. There’s also a symbol for “Friends of Friends” (your friends and their friends) that looks like this:

Simple rule of thumb:

“When sharing a post, either share it at the same “level” of privacy that the post is set at or take it a notch lower.“

Look at that symbol on a post! It tells a lot.

Your Facebook friends who prefer to keep their lives a bit more underground will appreciate it! Now, depending on the friend, it may also be wise to ask their permission to share first; that is up to you to gauge whether or not you need to ask.

For once I can't think of a suitable song to post here. If you know of one, please let me know. The door is open to ModlandUSA; please visit our website, or stop by on TwitterFacebook, or Google+


@kstaxman said...

It's easy for many to forget that privacy just like many other things in life means different things to different people. And just as you wouldn't embarrass a shy friend in public it's important to consider how each of your friends defines privacy. What isn't and issue for one person is a problem for another. The important thing is to keep in mind how each of those you follow defines privacy and respect their wishes.

Gerry Wendel said...

That's true Frank! Some of the public posts I've seen that are made freely and without thought could ruin that person's career or prevent them from getting hired! That's why the "rule of thumb" suggestion was in easy way to be respectful to everyone!

Shannon Grissom said...

Thanks for the reminder!