In a New York Times Magazine article entitled Facebook Exodus, Virginia Heffernan questions whether Facebook users are losing interest like kids lose interest in a new toy. Heffernan cites the reasons her friends are defecting:
- It makes us too nosy, too focused on other people’s dirt (our “friends”)
- Some fear stalkers
- Some feel their privacy is being compromised
- Some disappear without a word
In addition to this, I would add:
- It takes a lot of time away from real-life interactions
- We remember why we weren’t in touch with those old friends from high school – they wouldn’t even talk to me then!
- People are tired of having more of a relationship with a screen than an actual human
- It encourages others to talk about you in an open forum, which is fine if everyone loves you
- It gives us license to be brazen and overly direct
- We tend to share too much, which can lead to fraud, exploitation and identity theft
Facebook privacy concerns are the issue I am interested in most. A quote in Heffernan’s article by Leif Harmsen sums the privacy issues up perfectly:
“It is not ‘your’ Facebook profile. It is Facebook’s profile about you.”
Facebook is building a dossier on you to sell to others and to market to you with an intimacy never before seen. They know exactly what you like and where you live and who your friends are. This isn’t Big Brother, because YOU ARE CHOOSING to give the information away. We are big brother. I’m not advocating giving it up, just thinking carefully about what you share on Facebook and other social networking sites.
Order your copy of the Facebook Safety Survival Guide to make sure you and your children are protected online.
John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To further bulletproof yourself and your business, contact John directly on 800.258.8076.