There’s a lot of misunderstanding and paranoia about Facebook right now.  Oh no, my privacy!  Hey, you post something on the Internet, it’s not private.  You wouldn’t put a sign out in your front yard and not expect people to see it, would you?

Aaarrrgh, but Facebook knows I’m a liberal!!! So what, not ashamed of it.

Oh no, Facebook shows me advertising that I’m at least vaguely interested in!!  Frankly I’d rather see ads for guitars than bladder control products.

Facebook knows I don’t like Lavar Ball!!  OK, I made that one up. But I really don’t like Lavar Ball. Or Kayne for that matter.

I mean, being realistic, maybe you don’t want to type stuff into every silly survey of “what’s your stripper name”, but I’ll leave that up to you.

There are a huge number of positives you get from Facebook, all for free.

  1. It’s the modern day funny papers. I’m always quoting something or sharing some silly meme. In the absence of the comics in the newspaper, Facebook is great and keeps me supplied with topical or timeless humor.
  2. I like keeping up with old friends and associates.  I’ve got folks on Facebook I would have totally lost track of otherwise and it’s fun to see how some good looking high school friend is now paunchy and bald.  Oops, that might have sounded a little shallow and pathetic of me.
  3. The “Facebook memories” thing is great.  I never seem to go back and look at old pictures or videos, but I sure like it when Facebook pops ’em up.
  4. Yeah, there’s a lot of vacuous false information spread around.  I do this weird thing called “checking it out.”  I’ll look on Snopes, wikipedia, major news sites, or just look at the source of the tidbit.  It’s ain’t that hard.
  5. It’s fun to engage in dialogue over something important like “most remembered advertising catch phrases.”  Where else can I get that kind of intellectual stimulation? Ok, ok, yeah, we get it. I’m deep.
  6. Silly birthday reminders.  Most I ignore but some I go “oh crap” and am able to pretend like I at least partially remembered so-and-so’s birthday.
  7. The archive of the past in general is interesting.  It’s occasionally very useful and fun to be able to go back and see who you were and what you were interested in at a certain point in time.
  8. An audience is always there ready for my latest witty comments and in spite of the rather clueless nature of said “witty comments” I usually seem to get a few self-validating likes.  So there, wife who doesn’t think it’s funny!

Yes, there are a few clearer negatives like the ads for “hot single women over 60 who want to meet you” but I just ignore them just like I’d thumb past that stuff in a newspaper or a magazine.

In summary, don’t buy into the paranoia.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  No one will notice you making your powerful statement and you’ll probably just find some other more egregious way to give out your info anyhow.  Don’t blame Facebook for what is really you total lack of discretion and common sense. I know I don’t. (Maybe that didn’t come out right.)