Archive for December 22nd, 2008

A case for Facebook

A Polish neighbour next door decided to go onto Facebook so I invited myself around to check her security as Facebook used to leave your data available to everyone to see. I was pleasantly surprised that now, in the first instance, only friends can see your information and that every aspect of it can be altered to show to: Nobody, Friends only, Friends of Friends, Network and Friends, and lastly, everyone. The last two should never be used!

I explained that she should keep the majority of her information for friends only, but sometimes it is good to allow friends of friends to see a limited amount so they may eventually become your friends in time.

I was 67 years old when I opened my Facebook account. I didn’t expect many of my friends to be on and was only looking at it from a journalist point of view. I now have 47 contacts on my account. Bearing in mind that these are only people I know and want to contact, I am well pleased. So many younger people on Facebook are in the “numbers game”.

What has been really fantastic for me is that, over the two years, I have found six old friends I had lost contact with over the last thirty years. There is nothing more valuable than re-acquainting oneself with a lost friend.

I have arranged my page so that people searching through the contact list cannot click on the link to request to be a friend. But they can send me a letter from the list.

If I do not know the person, I ignore the request, I do not reply! It may seem rather rude but the way Facebook works is, if a non-friend drops you a line and you reply to the note, Facebook allows each person a view of all your private information. Or did at the last investigation. This can be bad as people may pretend to become a friend so they can get your personal information.

I like Facebook, On a Sunday, I spend an hour or so browsing through my pages seeing what all my contacts have been doing over the past week, sending messages, looking at videos sent and sending some of my own. And, generally, keeping in touch with everyone. It is so useful to be able to do this from one web site.

If you decide to join, you need to think of the name you want to use. It has to be your real name, but doesn’t have to be just your real name. Let me explain. My name is Andrew Taylor. My nickname is Ampers. So I joined as “Andrew Ampers Taylor” If you search for Andrew, Ampers, Andrew Taylor, Ampers Taylor, or Andrew Ampers Taylor, my Facebook entry will show up on the list. However, if you just search for Ampers, it will probably be the only one that comes up as it is very unusual.!. So if you have a family name or a nickname, put it in as your middle name when you join up. If you have middle names as well, include those if others’ know of them. But don’t expect me to reply to any messages on Facebook if I don’t know you!

Like everything else; when using the Internet you need to keep your wits about you. When you come to think about it, you need to keep your wits about you in our “civilised” 21st century society!



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