How Exposed You and Your Kids REALLY Are on Facebook and Other Social Networks
For even the most seasoned internet expert, the world of social networking is new. We have easy and unlimited access to each other for the first time in our 200,000 year history. As soon as a thought pops into our heads we can broadcast that thought via multiple communication channels like Twitter and Facebook for all the world to see.
It is clear that people love the social networking medium. The number of people using Facebook is a mindboggling 500 million, with half of those users logging in daily. The average user has 130 “friends”. But what exactly is a “friend” and how much of our lives should we really be sharing with our “friends”?
I think that social networking is effective and has a purpose especially for promoting global commerce and staying connected to people we know. Companies across the world can communicate with and grow their customer base, and provide informative content, up-to-date deals and promotions, and alert customers when exciting news occurs.
For the individual, Facebook promotes relationships by allowing people to stay in touch with those that in the past could have probably drifted away due to distance or life circumstances. It also allows people to create support groups for literally every interest under the sun. Go ahead, put a subject into the Facebook search engine and it is likely a group has already been created…if not, go ahead start one.
It is my concern that people don’t clearly comprehend how exposed they truly are when using sites like Facebook. Even for those of us who have had an online presence for many years it is easy to become complacent and post personal information that could be harmful to our reputations, images, brands, and companies.
For example, recently a Facebook status update that I found off-putting came across my news feed. For me, this post, and a few of the writer’s other poorly worded posts, have damaged the image I have of her. I have done business with her in the past and I wonder now, how I ever could have entrusted her to make a smart business decision?
I have to ask myself, “based on the content that this person chooses to display to the world, does she really possess the judgment, character, or brains of a person that I want to do business with?”
If adults can inadvertently do damage to themselves online, what kind of problems can our kids stumble into online?
It is imperative that we adults teach our kids to use discretion online. Their privacy should be honored and respected and guarded. They deserve to preserve one of their biggest and most fragile assets, their reputations.