It’s not the first time someone tells me that he doesn’t want to create a Facebook account for himself because he wants to keep his private life on his own. I usually think they’re too over-concerned due to a variety of reasons.
First of all, you’re not obliged to share anything you don’t want to. If you’re depressed and don’t want to tell anybody about it, nobody will interrogate you and post it in your status feed. If you’ve make up with somebody, Facebook won’t tell this to your parents.
Second, Facebook has one of the most flexible privacy settings customization I’ve ever seen. You can choose who can see each part of your profile, photos taken by you, photos of you, data sharing with 3rd party applications and much, much more, like if you allow Google to index your “profile page” or if you want to appear in public searches of people.
Some people is concerned by the possibility of somebody uploading photos of them drunk. Well, this can always happen even if you don’t have an account and:
- You can choose not to share your photos with everybody so unauthorized people won’t see these photos as “photos of you”.
- You can contact your “friend” and ask him/her to remove these photos, please.
- You can eventually report the photo to the Facebook staff for them to hide it, if the previous step didn’t work.
Whereas I must agree on that social networks encourage people to share more than they would have shared outside them, I don’t think the problem is in the tool but in the people using it – one has to keep in mind what’s he sharing and with who.
I’ve not read the whole Privacy Policies of Facebook so I’m not aware of all the privacy issues that could emerge from them, but I don’t think it can be worse than receiving tons of printed ads in your ordinary mailbox everyday, or even some governments’ surveillance.