Facebook has been in the news due to major concerns about privacy, and they have released “simpler” privacy settings. While I understand people’s frustrations, my belief is that a lot of the frustration comes from people putting information online that they shouldn’t, or having not taken the time to read terms of service before signing up. This funny video is right in line with how I feel:
At a recent talk given at Morgan State University, we discussed concepts of privacy and “free”. No one wanted to pay for the use of these sites. But you ARE paying, you are paying with your information and your usage habits. There is a reason why YouTube and Facebook are worth billions. Twitter might be free, and I honestly don’t know their exact business plan, but I guarantee it is banking on the information that WE choose to put on their network. WE are generating the content, THEY are making money.
I’m one of the first people to tell you that you should embrace social media. However, I always say to follow the rule of the 3 P’s of Privacy. Post professional and personal info, but keep private information offline—even with strict controls only allowing a few select people to see. I personally choose to limit information that I would not reveal in a job interview, such as my political views, relationship status or religion. I do however, add funny things to show off my wacky side. Make sure you have a clear boundary of what you want to share, and run every post through that filter. After a while, it will become second nature.
Think Before You Post. WHY? Because one it is posted, you are only a screenshot away from it being of permanent record that you said it. There is no way to control a gossipy person from sharing your knowledge. And because most people very quickly shoot off a status message, in that split second you might forget that you did not purge someone from your inner circle list that really should not have the info you just shared.
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Linda Schenk was interviewed in The Baltimore Sun about networking!