The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

The Yin and the Yang of Facebook

with 2 comments

For every yin, there is a yang. For every good, there is a bad. It is the natural balance of life.

Facebook and other forms of social networking are just the same. Sure, they offer a networking database to connect old friends to new friends and colleagues to associates; but there comes a point when we must become aware of just how much we blend our personal and professional circles.

Hot off the AP wire is an article that tells a story of a Canadian woman who lost her benefits because of pictures she posted on her Facebook page. However, this is not the first time such an instance has been brought to the forefront.

Teachers have been warned, fired, and harassed for similar issues in the U.S. as well. It has now become an issue of privacy and professional respect for a person’s personal life.

Employers have been given the means to track the lives of employees while outside of the workplace, as millions of users participate in the social activity unaware.

There are privacy settings that users can set to limit who can see what, but more than half of users pay no mind to them. Even then so, if you become a “friend” of a co-worker, you become susceptible to infiltrations of privacy.

When I created a Facebook account years ago, it was to keep in touch with friends who went away to school. Now, it has become a pop culture phenomenon that spans across multiple generations.

I’ve gotten add requests from aunts, uncles, cousins half my age, my mother, my crazy ex-girlfriends, co-workers… people outside of my social circle who find a need to be a part of it, to condone or disapprove of my friends and colleagues and any tidbit of my personal life.

While I am conscious of privacy settings, many of my friends are not. They post pictures of me without my approval and tag me in them so they are added to my page.

Who knows who will see those pictures of me? It’s not that difficult to dig for dirt on somebody if you know how to finagle your way through the network. Who’s to say that employers don’t hire specialty web surfers for HR purposes.

Pictures your friends may post of you half drunk at your birthday party may keep you from getting that job one day. You might not even have a Facebook account, but you are still susceptible to this public spy network.

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Written by cor24leone

November 23, 2009 at 5:28 AM

2 Responses

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  1. You bring up some very important points about Facebook, social networking, and privacy—as does the excellent video you posted. The question that isn’t answered, really, is what we are to do with these questions of privacy. The video’s point that social networking is blurring the lines between public and private suggest that we really haven’t figured out what to do just yet. Educating people is one thing, as is suggesting that people don’t put stuff online. Neither of those answers seem realistic or good enough for the complexity of the situation. What do you suggest?

    BW

    December 2, 2009 at 12:05 AM

  2. Facebook is constantly revamping their privacy settings but no matter what there will always be cause for concern. The utopian ideal would be to make everyone aware of the privacy issues and potential ramifications that social networking sites present. Unfortunately, not enough people take a look at the big picture. Many of those who pay mind to the privacy issues stay away from social networking sites all together. Those who are drawn to these sites are social people by nature. The scariest part about it is you don’t have to have an account to be found online. Private life is becoming increasingly more public as the number of users and sites multiply. It’s like TMZ for regular people, which would make everyday people and their camera phones the new age paparazzi. What I suggest is going back to instant messaging and email as forms of social networking where the visual evidence isn’t cemented into the forefront.

    cor24leone

    December 3, 2009 at 8:33 AM


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