Tag Archives: Facebook

Is It Too Late for Anyone to Take Anything Back?

I stumbled across this link to The Consumerist’s post about Facebook’s revised terms of service earlier this evening, and I also read a few of the responses to it, and the responses to those responses.  Suffice it to say, even though they claim they would never do anything to hurt you, the loyal user, I am glad that I have never “uploaded” anything to Facebook.

The question that this fiasco raises for me is this: are we COMPLETELY deluding ourselves to think that there is any information left out there that we can share with nearly anyone, in nearly any capacity, that is also still somehow under our control?  With the possible exception of information you share with your lawyer or with a medical professional, what hope could you possibly have?

The fact is, creating a profile about yourself, the things you like, things you do, and places you go, but also desiring anonymity are mutually exclusive ideas.  You can’t have both, and you sort of need to get over that.  While I have railed against the Facebook in the past, I don’t begrudge the people that are on it.  But as a user, you have to know that you have not only ticked a checkbox to an agreement that you never actually read; you have also signed a social contract that says, “OK, world– I don’t have much to hide.  You’re going to find certain things out, and I’ll have to deal with the consequences.”

Every one of us who has talked on a cell phone, or filled out a survey, or used any sort of web-based service has given something up.  We’ve passed the point of thinking we can get it back.  If that makes comfortable, it’s a life lesson; but that person is no victim.  Make no mistake; the world is shrinking.  There is less you can keep hidden all the time, and so if that’s what you really want, be diligent about it.  But if you sign up for a FREE service whose goal is to CONNECT PEOPLE WITH ONE ANOTHER, then you are surrendering some of those rights to complain.

Sometimes I teeter on the edge of saying “to hell with it, just take all the data and information that I have, there’s no way I can protect it.”  But another part of me wants to toil in the face of futility, and that part takes comfort in the fact that I could unplug my server tomorrow.

Dodging That Bullet, To the Best of My Knowledge

Caught ‘The Opinionator’ column in the NYT today, which talked a bit about the dilemma of Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau (not that Jon Favreau).  Apparently there were some unsavory photos of him on a social networking site, engaged in shennanegans with a cardboard cutout of Senator Hilary Clinton.

My point here is not to weigh in on the electronic vetting process of the upcoming administration, but to wave my flag one more time in favor of STAYING AWAY from Facebook.  Also, if you’ve ever been denied my personal blessing to put pictures of me on the Internet, this story is basically a gold-plated case study to justify my feelings on that.

To everyone under 25 years of age posting idiodic, drunken, stoned, naked picutres of yourself on the web: I know it doesn’t seem like this could ever be a bad idea right now, but believe me when I say that 10 years is going to grant you a tremendous amount of insight.  When I was your age (can’t believe I just invoked that phrase), we had only “hard copies” of those embarrassing photographic moments, and for the most part, they stayed in the trusted hands of friends and lovers.  It was a vastly superior arrangement.  If you can maintain control of those photos, all the better.

So, the next time you’re uploading pics from your phone to Flickr, you may want to step back for a second and think about whether or not you’d like your future spouse, boss, mother-in-law, or child to see that one of you sprawled out on the porch, spread eagle and barely conscious at the end your housewarming party.

Because I know I wouldn’t.  And so it’s not there.

A Fairly Non-Descript Day

Not too much to report for this Thursday on a personal level.  Ohh– here’s something: I did have a little “phone envy” when Michelle finally got her LG Voyager and I had a chance to play with it.  I did NOT opt for that phone back in August when I was shopping because I thought the touch screen would be a hassle for me to use.  After spending some time with hers, it seems like that probably wouldn’t be the case.  Ah, well.  In a couple years, there’ll probably be an even better and more affordable “all-touch-screen” option on the market (LG’s Dare is just too pricey at this point).

I heard some news about a friend that I apparently could have gotten earlier if only I was out there on the stupid Facebook.  I have considered the possibility of trolling those pages just to hear from people or find out the latest news, but I haven’t brought myself to do it yet.  At this point, it’s still just a random consideration.

It seems like I see stories of some of our nation’s dumbest with Wisconsin datelines too often.  Here’s one from Sheboygan: Man accused of urinating on arresting officer.  Classy.

This was delightful to see, too– just after I was able to say that all the computers in my house operate USB devices at 2.0 speed, here comes USB 3.  Dammit.

And, I’m sorry, but this Nebraska safe-haven story is just unbelievable– this quote just KILLS me:

With legislators set to convene on Friday, weary parents like the Lincoln mother have been racing to drop off their children while they still can.

I still think that mandatory birth control is an idea worth looking into…

That is all the random drudgery I can muster for now; enjoy your Thursday evening!

Hedging My Bets

I don’t know if I’ve just become hyper-aware of it, or if everybody that I know really IS on Facebook, but all of them seem to have moved there in the last 6 months.  I am still a part of the resistence, but I’m not sure how long I can hold out.  My chief lieutenant in this struggle, Michelle, has waffled a bit in recent weeks.  There are times I catch her trying to reason out why she SHOULD be on this thing.  So far, we’ve managed to stay the course.

I have justified my non-participation in this social networking phenomenon in a variety of ways:

  1. I have struggled for 10 years now to limit the contact I have with old high school classmates to a select few, and I don’t want to flush all that good work down the toilet.
  2. The people I’ve spoken to that get really caught up in Facebook once they start makes this website sound a little like heroin; they spend hours and hours online and really get nothing accomplished.  At least the countless hours I spend here result in an increase in (mostly useless) knowledge, or some entertainment for you in this webspace.  I don’t need another web-based addiction, whether it’s parking wars, or Facebook commodity trading, or whatever.
  3. I think the truth came out recently from my mom, who reminded me that “[I] don’t really like people.”  True enough.  The number of people that I dislike vastly outnumbers those that I DO like or CAN tolerate.  I prefer my Internet experience to be a one-way street.  Not that I’m discouraging your comments by any means, but let’s be honest: I am 100% in control of which ones get published and when…

Despite all this, when SO MANY PEOPLE that you know are talking about something this much, you sort of feel like you need to get out there and understand what it’s about.  For someone as net-savvy as myself, it’s rare (to the point of disturbing) that I should have absolutely no experience with such a pervasive Internet entity.  I guess that strict lack of knowledge is what’s bothering me here; definitely not feeling an intense desire to stop emailing and start “facebooking” people, or whatever the hell they might call it.

I wonder if the K-Bear ever gets this sort of feeling in relation to our cell phone bet…