The Facebook Controversy

28 04 2011

To be or not to be … a Facebook user???

600 million and growing members of Facebook.  Companies are using Facebook pages and targeted ads for marketing.  Facebook is surpassing Google for page views and growing in search.

Many of you are on Facebook.  Some of you use it often, some rarely, and others not at all.

I understand the excitement around Facebook, and I equally understand the concerns around security and privacy.  My belief is that when you post anything, Facebook saves it in a large database.  More and more Facebook users are victimized by spammers and hackers.  Children (and adults) are posting pictures and comments that can haunt them later when they look for a new job (or even in their existing job).

Some people use Facebook to broadcast their complaints or tell you where they are and what they are doing throughout the day, every day.  At the same time, many are sharing interesting and helpful information, and you can pick and choose what you read and what interests you.

So, should one be on Facebook?

That is a personal decision.  Consider the reason(s) why you would join and use Facebook:

  • Connect / re-connect with family and friends, including schoolmates from high school and college, friends from camp, etc.
  • Connect with acquaintances, business associates, parents from your child’s school, members of the church/synagogue/mosque, members of a sports team or social club, etc.
  • Connect with clients to keep in touch and build more personal relationships
  • Meet new people
  • Promote your business, products and services
  • Share your knowledge and opinions, and learn from others who share common or different interests and beliefs

Next, address your security and privacy concerns.  Balance your reason(s) for using Facebook with your good judgment.  Don’t post anything that will potentially damage your and anyone else’s reputation.  Good rule of thumb: if you’re not sure, best not to post and share it.  Know that you are what you post.

Go through the Account and Privacy settings one by one.  Be conservative, and protect your privacy.  Balance between the desire to be visible with the risk of being too visible to strangers.

There is much to gain – staying in touch with your friends, acquaintances and business connections, learning from others (news, your community, interests, activities and events, new businesses, products and services and much more), promoting your business if you have one, having fun (playing games, sharing jokes and photos), arranging get-togethers and reunions, and more…

What to do?

If you have fears and concerns, spend some time and learn about your options, and then you can make a more informed decision.

If you are not technology savvy, seek help from others who are familiar with the features and functionality.  With practice, you will learn your way around.

Your hesitation is valid, and it can keep you safe.  Facebook does require good judgment and attention as to how and with whom your information is visible and potentially shared.

If you are already using Facebook, be careful and prudent, check your settings (often!) and enjoy.  If you are not yet using Facebook, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.  Do some research, speak with knowledgeable users, and see if you can make it work for you.  If not, you can always come back to it later as I think Facebook will be there for years to come…

For more Facebook tips, including privacy and security, please find more posts at:




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