Yikes! Facebook takes over the world….

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An article on Vator.TV shows the rise of the usage of Facebook and, of course, the growth of it’s phenomenal popularity over the past 2 years.

What began as a college kid connection site has escalated into the ‘Starbucks’ of the internet – the place where you want to be seen and where you want to hang out.  The fact that it’s the weirdest concept imaginable a few years ago doesn’t seem to matter one bit – as the kids of the 60’s and 70’s used to say, it’s ‘be there or be square.’

While Facebook is fast becoming a hot spot for businesses wanting to take advantage of its reach and growing power, there are some concerns for users. Namely privacy and safety.  An ancillary Vator.tv article discusses these issues and also provides another link which demonstrates the timeline and overview of how Facebook’s privacy policies have changed since inception.  It’s pretty scary.

I suspect that not many Facebook users would be prepared to close their accounts even knowing how vulnerable it makes them. The ability to connect so easily with others and the ability to let off steam, share events in our lives and generally interact, is so appealing that it makes us reluctant to give it all up because of a principal.  Unless our privacy is personally violated (and we’re aware that it has been) it’s easier to simply go with the flow and enjoy the benefits of “Facebooking”.

Personally, I admit,  I would find it difficult. Facebook has given me the ability to connect with family across the world – even discovering family I didn’t know I had…  Still, it would be nice if I felt that Facebook was protecting my privacy the way they used to.

The only way that Facebook’s current policies could be made to change is if a sizable percentage of users demanded it.  And that’s not likely given the reasons above and the tendency toward apathy shared by most humans.

The one thing I still find strange is the way that Facebook deals with businesses. Businesses are allowed Fan Pages which are severely restricted in terms of ability to connect with prospective ‘friends’.  You can’t ‘friend’ a Fan page – you can only ‘like’ it.  A Fan page can’t send an invitation to ‘friend’ or even to ‘like’.

The rationale – I think – is to prevent businesses from ‘harassing’ other Facebook users.  I can understand that.  However, if the information in the article links is correct, the same protection isn’t offered from would be stalkers. Interesting…

I think it’s definitely a case of ‘buyer beware’ when it comes to interacting on a personal level in any social media setting.

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