Monday, May 17, 2010

It's not so much the sharing as it is the oversharing

Privacy seems to be at the top of everyone's minds right now. If you haven't been paying attention, Facebook is taking a lot of heat for its relatively lax approach towards their users' privacy. Sure, I've used Facebook for a few years myself and for about two years to promote a couple arms of the company I work for but I've always been careful what sort of information I put online for all to see. And the "for all to see" thing may be totally incorrect because I have my Facebook account (my personal one) locked down like a chastity belt just because I don't want everyone to know everything about me.

It's not that I have a ton to be ashamed of but I post photos of my daughter there and while I can't speak for her, I am fairly certain that at some point she'll want to have control of her own life and what aspects of it are made public.

That's what I don't quite get about today's generation of teens. They are the first to come of age in an era where everything can be shared online instantly. The key word there is "can" - nobody has ever said "share it all" because there is plenty that others don't need (or want) to know or flat out shouldn't know.

For instance, I'm not going to tell you what kind of underwear I'm sporting but I'll gladly tell you that I'm wearing a nearly two year old pair of Converse One Star sneakers that are dangerously close to disintegrating while I wear them. It's all about selective sharing.

But back to Facebook... I'd love nothing more than to see a company who has done nothing more than give people a place to play pointless games and share way too much meet its demise. They have been loose with the privacy of users and that needs to change. However, Facebook's owner has found a lucrative way to profit from giving people something they obviously love and collecting information they are very willing to freely give up so Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is simply profiting by being a middle man. After all, the internet is all about information and people expect websites to be free. Maybe we've become too lax in how we control our personal information and maybe a few years from now things will be vastly different and people will be far more reluctant to share every tiny detail of their lives. Maybe people will find something more productive to do with their times rather than asking everyone they know to help them with their barn raising.

Maybe if Facebook had never existed we wouldn't have experienced a huge financial meltdown in the past few years. Maybe people, instead, would have been reading the very mortgage contracts that sent them to bankruptcy. But what's done is done so let people continue oversharing but also let them realize that those photos from last night when they were naked and smoking ditch weeb from a bong might hamper their job prospects down the road.

But not all sharing is bad because without people sharing their awesome photos of Minnesota, MinnPics wouldn't exist.

1 comment:

Jules said...


I'm on Facebook too, but I hate all the little apps and games. I never play them and they annoy the hell out of me when people invite me to join them. Ugh! I only stay on there to keep in contact with relatives i never get to see.

Facebook's nothing more than playing the game "I Spy".