Facebook. We all know the site. That blue-and-white interface. The instant messaging system that tells you who’s really offline and who’s just ignoring your message. The News Feed, giving you information about all of your friends’ days at a glance. Ah, the joys of waiting anxiously to see who will like your post or selfie, and wondering why that special He or She didn’t.
Now, don’t take what I’ve said so far or what I will say to mean that I don’t like Facebook. I actually do; generally speaking. It’s the main way I keep in touch with my friends and family across the country; so I won’t exactly riot Facebook Headquarters or anything. But I would like to say a few things about the “personal information gatherer” website.
Notice the term “Personal Information Gatherer”? Yeah. I meant that seriously. (Ish.) Do you have any idea how much we know about our friends and family that we probably shouldn’t? I’ll give you a hint: A lot. I’ll not get into details, but let me say this:
Did you EVER need to see that picture of your grandma in a swimsuit? Do you really care if your uncle got a new car…again? Do you REALLY want to see all of those tantalizing pictures of other people’s selfishly delicious dinners? (I mean, really! They’re starting to make me feel bad about my favorite cereal-for-dinner ritual!) And honestly girls, do you think anyone (besides your mom) REALLY cares about your 287th selfie?
They’re not TAKING the information from us, though. There is no fight. They simply ask politely, and we WILLINGLY tell them everything about us! Where we’re going for lunch, when we’re on vacation, when we have our next dentist appointment, etc. They make it look like fun, so even the strongest of us feel like we “have” to sign up, tell Facebook everywhere we’ve been, everywhere we plan to go, everything we’ve done and are going to do. We just let it all spill. We’ve told them dates, phone numbers, names, and don’t even get me STARTED on addresses, credit card information, and bank accounts.
It just plain doesn’t make sense.
But yet everybody loves it.
Even I fell under the spell. I heard all about how awesome it was, back when I was too young to be allowed to participate, and when I was 13 I jumped at the chance to create my very own Facebook and tell the world everything it never wanted to know about me.
It seemed like, for a while, my little sister was the only one of my family members who had any sense left in her. She didn’t see the point of her getting online just to tell people things they don’t care about. Even when she turned 13 and was allowed by our parents to get her own Facebook, she didn’t. She just didn’t want to share her personal life online.
She was the smart one.
But then one day, I logged on to see that I had a new friend request. From none other than-drum roll please- my little sister. She had, as she put it, “Given herself over to the NSA.” because “They already knew me from my family, how much more could I tell them?” And she had a point. Facebook’s magic had pulled many a tale and photograph about my sister out of me and my parents, into its database’s grasp.
Only one more kid to go, and then our whole family will be goners.
Talk to you guys later.
(Okay, so I don’t actually think my family members are goners or anything. I also don’t think that Facebook is really out to get us, per se. But you’ve gotta see a point in some of that. We do tend to give a bit too much information to websites like Facebook, Twitter, and the like. And sometimes you’ve got to stop and think when you’re about to post something to those websites: “Is this REALLY necessary? Do I need to tell this to everyone? How could this affect me in the long run?” Maybe in the future you’ll be glad you did. )