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Grey Matter

Lesley is also a columnist for UFO Magazine. Check it out !

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Privacy and Social Networking

While I somewhat understand the concerns with social media and privacy -- I also don't totally.

There are some people that simply don't join such sites as Facebook or Twitter because they have privacy concerns. Fine, makes sense. However, if you do join and you post every "private" thought that pops into your head to your 1500 followers, when you only really know about 20, why is Facebook or Twitter supposed to protect your "privacy?"

It is kind of like a joke that Bill Maher used to make about people who complain about the government snooping into their private lives being the same people that conduct a private phone conservation very loudly while standing in a line full of people at Starbucks.

I have noticed lately on Facebook that some people have their settings so that you can't post on their walls. While I understand that people often make app requests or send app gifts that way, it still seems unfriendly. If you don't want to play an app just delete the post or ban that app from posting on you wall. I can't think of anything less social than only allowing yourself to post to your wall -- why bother with social media? Just start a website or blog and don't allow comments.

I am not a very private person, but in some ways I am. The things I want to keep private, I simply don't post about. It is that easy. As for other worries such as marketing or the government knowing your "private" information - chances are, if you are on the Internet, they already know those things whether or not you use Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or any other social networking site. Frankly, the Internet was not made to be and is not a place for privacy. The expectation for privacy in what is essentially a public forum is kind of ridiculous. It is much like walking into a city park naked and expecting that nobody is going to look or see you.

Don't get me wrong, there are criminal invasions of privacy, such as having your private email or bank account hacked, but having someone know what city you live in, that you collect vintage postcards or are a huge American Idol fan doesn't really fit into that. Yeah, marketing companies might use that info, but do you really think you are safe buying related merchandise locally using your VISA or bank card -- do you really think that info is private? I am not even going to bring up those shopping cards that you have to use to get sale prices at certain shops.

I am not saying there is no right to privacy (or shouldn't be), just saying that it isn't something that can really be expected in a public place like the Internet. I do keep my Facebook settings as private as possible, but really I don't expect privacy from Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Blogger or many other places I post.

So, I guess I am saying to keep your expectations low and you won't be too shocked or upset.

  • Check out Lesley's Blog HERE

    As well as her Beyond the Dial blog