Last night i had to stay up very late, guess each parent with a high schooler gets to do this once when it comes to prom night.
Well as a result i caught a documentary aired by Canadian Broadcasting Corp called "Facebook Follies". I will give credit to the CBC they do a fairly good job in the media world today of providing half decent journalism and some of their documentaries and investigative reporting is excellent and highly informative.
Well even though i am not a facebook participant and fully believe its a fantastic business tool if i put my "business marketing mans" hat on, i thought i knew a fair bit about the whole schebang. But found out i knew a hang of a great deal less than i do now.
Its hard to recap the content of the show so here is a link for those interested not sure if big brother in whatever form is going to have everyone able to view it, for rights reasons i suspect, but we can only try. I had hoped there would be more of the content of the documentary in written form in the editorial then at least it could be distilled and the more salient cautionary points circulated.
There are a few of us here that have lived tech sector lives and others that are at least net and computer savvy such that we take reasonable precautions. But even for you this doc might open a few doors to aspects you never ever thought of in relation to facebook.
For us "vetrans" of life, we have all built up a certain sensitivity to the dark side of our world such that we are cautious having been many times bitten and a now pretty careful through the course of our lives to date.
But the concern i have is for the youth that are being led like mice following the pide piper with no idea of the consequences. Its an opportunity for grandparents and parents to get some insight to be able to help caution kids in their family. The doc is pretty balanced inmho and could do with being compulsory viewing somewhere along the line for kids before they get started on the internet or facebook but I also think for parents who are about to have kids and missed a dose of the cold war paranoia that handed out a healthy does of skepticism to many of us. The desire to share any and everything about a new baby has the poor kid having a web presence whether they like it or not. So by the time they get to the age to be able to make a decision for themselves much of that choice has been taken by the parents without thought for the impact on the kids life.
Grandparents are another area of concern. My MIL is a very nice lady, but she likes to be liked and is as naive as can be and so in an effort to please and be liked( i dont mean facebook liked) will do the most reckless things with all sorts of data not just photographs. No amount of explanation will penetrate the thick skin of total optimism. Denial and disbelief that anyone would even want to do some of the things one can point out to her (have already been done to people) just has her shrugging off events like water from a ducks back.
So you can imagine this tends to flow downhill. That means i have to "manage" what i send her and recieve from her. Makes for a lot more work keeping family uptodate with news, since her sense of what can and cannot be bounced on email or broadcast via facebook is pretty close to zero. Scary to have someone like this in the family. My fear is her daughter SWMBO is not far behind in some respects and while having abstained from facebook all this time has been pressurized by peers and friends to get started without the slightest interest in understanding the dos and donts. Talk about the term MORAL HAZZARD.. Normally i am a big believer in a phrase the Afrikanners use back in South Africa.
"As jy nie will hoor dan moet jy voel" translated it goes something like " If you dont want to listen then you gotta feel it" This kinda was referenced for kids that did not want to listen to parents and got a hiding as a result. My version has to do with people that want to live in denial of being better informed. Except in the case of these situations moral hazzard exists and you feel the pain of their actions too.
I aint looking to start a facebook good bad debate etc really just put this out here for our family members that need a little help getting to grips with all these social changes. Forewarned is forearmed. Like anything we humans cook up there is a good side and bad side, it helps to get to grips with both sides before one indulges.
Normally say in eating something that is great tasting but not all that healthy for us, moderation would be the order of the day. The difference being, you can be the decider and moderate frequency and portion size. In the case of something like facebook you hand over your moderation to a private corporation who has already been known to make changes without regard for consequences and all you will get in return is "sorry".
If McDonalds can get sued for an idiot spilling hot coffee on their lap, its not long in my view before a class action suite of some sort comes the way of the mighty facebook....I hope their liability provisions are well funded.