Facebook: Can You Trust it with Your Secrets? 

BY GEORGE COTHRAN

TOWER staff writer

 

            Over the last few years, Facebook has become one of the most popular social media websites in the world. Some people use it as a digital journal or diary that anyone can read. To those who appreciate privacy, there are features such as limiting who can read your posts and only getting friend requests from people who are friends with one of your friends.

         The question remains: Can you trust Facebook with your secrets?

         Facebook features a “wall” on your page, where you can post status updates to let people know what is going on in your life. As you post your updates, they will appear on your friends’ news feeds, almost eliminating the idea of having to go to someone’s page to read their updates. Some people use Facebook to post silly pictures or talk about how much they drank at the bar last night. Others use it to vent out their frustration if they are having a bad day. Chances are, a lot of people will feel uncomfortable or even depressed by your posts when reading about how angry you are with your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or how much you hate your life. If your friends get tired of your incessant complaining, there is an option to remove you from their news feed.

         Just because only a select number of people can read what you write, that means others can’t read it, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Say you go for a job interview. You may look presentable, but the same probably will not be said for your Facebook page. Even if you set your page to a private viewing, employers can still access your Facebook page thanks to the wonders of 21st Century technology. Just as there are websites and software to check on your background, such things exist for social media. Once they see that one picture of you with your pants down (literally), you can kiss that job opportunity goodbye. Nothing is safe on the Internet.

         To give you an example, here’s a quick read on a kid being jailed after joking about shooting at a school:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/austin-teen-behind-bars-facebook-joke-shooting-kids-article-1.1384180

         The way the Internet is a large database of everything that has ever been uploaded. Even if you delete everything you do not want to be seen, chances are that someone who may harbor a grudge against you could pull them from “thin air” and use them against you.

         You could be running for president and all someone has to do to tarnish your credibility is to upload that obscene joke you made when you were 13. As an old friend once said to me, “Do not post something you do not want on the front page of the New York Times.”

         To sum up, always put a lot of thought into something you upload before you do so. Don’t trust your life success to the probing eyes of those on Facebook.

 

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