Sunday, September 25, 2011

My conversations are mine... or should be

Facebook has had a lot of press lately about their changes and that's great. There's no such thing as bad press and all that. I've used Facebook to reconnect with friends from all different times in my life from grade school through high school and previous jobs. It's been really nice to get to know those people again.
I work in retail. I sometimes talk about my work. I sometimes talk about how my day went. I sometimes say things I don't want all my customers, employees, or my co-workers to know. I have always kept my facebook pretty locked down so only my friends could see things. I don't friend employees even if they ask, and if they ask me why I explain that I keep online-me separate from worker-me. I would have real life conversations by private message about my privacy concerns and how I don't want to talk about certain things about work or where I work or with whom I work to be out in the wild. My work's online policy didn't used to exist for the first 16 years I was with the company and I was very careful to not step on any toes... then it came into existence and is, I think, draconian in the extreme. But my choices are abide by it or quit. The thing is, things I've already said are out there, and some may be in violation of the new policy. No problem a) they're in the past and predate the policy and b) my status updates etc are friends only... and I don't friend ppl at work who don't know my policy about talking about work.
Then facebook made a change that makes in unusable for me.
If one of my friends comments on one of my friends only posts it's no longer friends only. Now any of their friends can read the post and comment on it... from anywhere in time on facebook.
Translation: I have no privacy settings that mean anything. Everything I have ever done and will ever do on facebook is potentially public whether I chose for it to be or not or whether I want it to be or not. Things I said to select groups of people that were formerly assumed to be the equivalent of a whisper in a restaurant, if they reply on facebook now would be a stentorian yell that the entire restaurant could hear and not just their reply, but my comment as well.
I'm not comfortable with that.
I carefully monitor and maintain my online identity to be in conformity with what I want it to be or maybe even need it to be in regards to customers, clients, employers, co-workers. If I can't control it I won't use it. I can't use it. It's not safe for me to. No, I'm not being overly dramatic.
So, I've closed my facebook account. Will I open it again in the future? I don't know. Right now the risks to me and my real life aren't worth the virtual fun I got out of it. That's too bad. I'll miss those people.

* Zombie Rich by +byron rempel and it was animated by +Dunken K. Bliths. I found both of them on Google+.
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