Facebook continues to test our relationship culture and our ability to be appropriate

Facebook continues to test our relationship culture and our ability to be appropriate

Summary: Contrary to those that hate all things Facebook and Twitter, over-sharing the inappropriate is not the fault of social media tools.

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After reading a recent post on KSDK.com, a local news affiliate in Missouri, I was reminded that we as a species really struggle to understand the value of our own personal privacy. It's easy, and in some cases justified, to get all combative and react to what social networks do with our data. However, the human aversion to personal responsibility when it comes to managing and curating our own content and privacy, the guts of what happens in our daily lives, seems to be evermore prevalent.

What is it with us humans? Contrary to those that hate all things Facebook and Twitter, over-sharing the inappropriate is not the fault of social media tools. The social media chapter in the information age has unearthed the fact that socially in our society, we don't have many decent role models (a person or an entity) to help guide us through the navigational perils of being online interactions. The bible of etiquette and appropriateness of what it means to be a human being with an immediate mass audience watching us in a digital world has not yet been written.

We've had decades, centuries really, to dial in our behavior and manners when going out in public and while there's a handful of people that still don't know you shouldn't blurt out the status of their messy divorce loudly in a crowded Starbucks, for the most part, people behave.

We've had less than a decade to wrap our emotional little brains around what it means to deal with the trials of our personal lives with the option of being able to so freely express ourselves about the good, the weird, and the duress, in a world where we can get reactions immediately from our friends, family and colleagues. The link/article I mention in the first paragraph shows this in that most people in times of stress and unhappiness are willing to run the risk publicly filleting themselves and bringing on legal woes by sharing very personal struggles that probably should not be shared in one of the most impersonal channels - Facebook.

We are in dire need of more discussions about people respecting their OWN privacy. We can't control what people we know do online but we can be a positive influence and remind our more dramatic and outspoken online constituents to take certain topics to a more private forum. Don't be afraid to send your buddy a private message reminding them of that for their own good. You could save them some serious headache and embarrassment down the road.

It would be nice to be able to call shenanigans and just say it's common sense. However, if you have more than 100 friends on Facebook, you are reminded frequently that common sense still isn't as common as we'd hope.

Topics: Security, Legal, Social Enterprise

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  • RE: Facebook continues to test our relationship culture and our ability to be appropriate

    There is no common sense anymore. The government and courts have passed so many laws to overprotect the people these days that nothing they do is their fault anymore, and they just don't have the mindset to even think about the consequences of their actions.

    I can't tell you how many times the very few FB friends (less than 15) I have allowed on my profile ask each other very personal and often dangerous questions on Facebook instead of using text messaging or private chat or email.

    My own niece posted a request for my cellphone number. This child has at least a hundred friends that I don't know and would have seen the phone number and done who-knows-what with it. I set her straight on the ethics of information sharing on Facebook, in an email, of course.

    What concerns me most is the young people, girls especially, who think nothing of allowing anyone who has access to her pages or her friends' pages to know exactly where they are at any given time. We already saw what happened in the Craigslist personals because of that. Twitter is just as bad in my opinion.
    babyboomer57
    • RE: Facebook continues to test our relationship culture and our ability to be appropriate

      @babyboomer57 - Thanks very much for taking the time to post here. As a father of two teenager sons, I can't agree with you more.
      Rich Harris
      • RE: Facebook continues to test our relationship culture and our ability to be appropriate

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    • Absolutely!

      @babyboomer57 When you have parents and teachers posting pictures of themselves cavorting at a party, what can you expect from their children and students?

      Since there are so many power-grabbers and do-gooders in government and society who want to treat us like children, is it any wonder that we have adults who are perpetually caught in adolescence?

      It's all about being raised by people who instill in us a sense of modesty, an abundance of common sense, and respect for themselves and others.
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