Facebook is my CRACK

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ok, I'm the first to admit it.  I'm addicted to Facebook.  It's like crack to me.  I check it when I wake up, I check it before I go to bed.  I check it every time it bing-bongs at me and alerts me that someone has: posted on my wall, liked my status, tagged me in a picture, commented on one of my pictures, etc.  And really who am I kidding? By having my other addiction (my iPhone) it allows me to have a Facebook App where I click the button more times daily then I can count. 

I'm the queen of taking pictures (and then posting them within 24-hours on Facebook).  My friends call me the "historian" of the group because whenever a moment needs to be captured, there I am with my camera.  But just as often as they ask me to take a picture, they also come with the warning of, "You better not post the picture on Facebook Sarah" or "You can post it, just don't tag me" or even "Can you create a blocked/locked album so I can see the pix but no one else can?"  I always oblige.

People ask me why I like Facebook so much.  I guess I don't have a specific answer.  I use my status updates more as a journal of my life, for myself.  I rarely post to get a reaction or a response from others (but if people comment, even better).  I like feeling connected to people, even if we're in different parts of the world.  I enjoy seeing people's photos, and love seeing my friend's children grow-up. I guess it appeases the "Jewish Mother" in me and my need to be a yenta (Yiddish for a busy-body). 

I have joked with a few of my friends from High School that there really is no need for our 10-year reunion next year (YIKES!!!). We all know what each other are up to via our Facebook pages and updates.  So with that said, I know I'm not the only one out there who has a Facebook addiction.

While making my daily rounds of my favorite news websites today, an article about Facebook caught my eye.  The article was titled 6 Things You Should Never Reveal on Facebook. They suggested that you NEVER REVEAL:
  • Your Birthdate and Place
    • You've basically just given identity thieves a key to stealing your financial life. A study done by Carnegie Mellon showed that a date and place of birth could be used to predict most — and sometimes all — of the numbers in your Social Security number.
  • Your Vacation Plans
    • By posting flights, arrivals and departures, locations and pictures it's pretty much giving criminals an open invite by telling them specifically when you'll be gone.
  • Your Home Address
    • Well this just seems OBVIOUS!  But suprisingly some 40%  of FB users listed their home address on their sites; 65% didn't even attempt to block out strangers with privacy settings. And 60% said they weren't confident that their "friends" were really just people they know.
  • Any Confessionals
    •  Employers commonly peruse social networking sites to determine who to hire — and, sometimes, who to fire. One study done last year estimated that 8% of companies fired someone for "misuse" of social media.
  • Password Clues
    • If you've got online accounts, you've probably answered a dozen different security questions (your Mom's maiden name; the street you lived on as a child; or the name of your favorite song). Got that same stuff on the information page of your Facebook profile? You're giving crooks an easy way to guess your passwords.
  • Any Risky Behavior You May Partake In
    • Insurers are increasingly turning to the web to figure out whether their applicants and customers are putting their lives or property at risk, according to Insure.com.  So you may like to go heli-skiing, or you may like to race your motorcycle at high speeds. You just may want to consider twice before posting it on your Facebook.  
 Some of the articles advice seems pretty obvious to me.  And I follow the majority of those guidelines to a "t". I guess I need to be a little bit more observant about posting my whereabouts when I'm out of town though.  One of my best pieces of advice for Facebook users is check your privacy settings on a regular basis.  Facebook makes changes to those settings, and doesn't necessarily inform their users.  If you haven't checked recently, there's a very good chance that your information is set to "Everyone" meaning anyone can see your posts, your pictures, and whatever your friends post. Last week, one of my friends was changing his 13 year-old son's settings (someone had found out his son's password and had "friended" all sorts of random people).  He didn't know how to do it and called me for help. Another piece of advice I offered was that even though the privacy setting of "Friends of Friends" sounds secure, in fact everyone can be a friend-of-a-friend.  Better just keep it as "Friends Only".

So with that said, I wish you all happy Facebooking. I know that I'm about to feed my addiction, log on, and post this very blog,  After all, it's been a solid three hours since I've logged on last and I'm going through withdrawals. 


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