Facebook, Bullet Not Dodged Yet (Part Deux)

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5 Responses

  1. Ken Rhodes says:

    The following is a vast oversimplification, but it surely contains a valid caution. (And we tend to get more cautious as we get older, and more experienced with the myriad ways life can bite us on the butt.)

    “The friend of my friend is my friend” is the essential basis of Facebook, and of the concept of “social networking” underlying lots of similar on-line functions these days. But that cliche states that friendship is transitive, which it surely is not. Yes, I know that “friendship” in the Facebook sense is not the meaningful concept of “friendship” we use in the real world, but my point is still the same. It isn’t transitive in the real world, and making it transitive on-line opens us up to risks beyond any we imagine.

  2. PrometheeFeu says:

    I think there is a lot less to worry about than what is commonly believed. Everyone has embarrassing aspects of their lives which are now available online for everyone to see. You can do some risk management by carefully choosing who you “friend”, having multiple online identities for different purposes etc, but the best approach is to be ready for the time when something on your Facebook page comes back to “haunt” you because it will. When that time comes, you can figure it out. Sure, it might push you a little down the list for a job or a college, but it’s unlikely to make or break an application if you are otherwise a great candidate. That’s what introspection and personal experience tell me.

    My opinion is that if your daughter is asking herself those questions, she is ready for Facebook. Also remember that in the vast majority of cases, if something you don’t like goes online, you can have it taken down. I’m not speaking about legal rights, I’m just speaking about the fact that a nicely worded email usually results in a blurried face or a simple removal of the incriminating material.

  3. Really appreciate your thoughts, both.

  4. Heidi Anderson says:

    Ah, yes, the familiar WWHT (“What Will Harvard Think?”) debate… What colleges will think matters greatly, I suppose, but it hopefully will matter less with the passage of time, i.e., when today’s 13 y.o. quasi-carefree Facebook user becomes tomorrow’s college admissions staff person. Until then, perhaps the WWHT reason alone should deter today’s forward-looking and risk averse teens from joining and using Facebook. Kudos to you for encouraging your daughter to think about the issue in that costs-versus-benefits fashion.

    p.s. I can’t help but wonder…did you ask her permission to blog about this? Does she know about this blog? Do her friends? I’m not trying to pry, of course. I’m just wondering if there’s any potential irony in sharing the precise details of a somewhat intimate conversation with one’s daughter as part of an open blog discussion regarding whether said daughter should be permitted to blog about the intimate details of her life (given that Facebook really is just a blog with more user friendly features and links between your FaceBlog and others’ FaceBlogs).

  5. Danielle Citron says:

    I’m hoping that PrometheeFeu and Heidi are right, that in the fullness of time, it won’t matter. Permission granted, indeed.