10 May 2010

Hi, do we know each other?

Facebook is driving me nuts.  I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way.  The company keeps changing its privacy policy and setting its defaults to public.  Every time the privacy policy changes, I have to remember to go into my profile and re-set my settings to private so only my friends can see my personal info.  If I haven't been on Facebook for a few days, who knows how long my info has been out there.

On top of that, Facebook has changed the format of its "Likes, Interests, and About Me" section so that if I've indicated I like something, everyone who likes the same thing can see me.  I'm only on Facebook because so many of my friends are, so it's an easy way to keep in touch.  I'm not interested in connecting with people I've never met in person before, so I don't want total strangers who happen to have read the same book and liked it to know that I like it too.  I'm fairly certain I'm not the only Facebook user that feels this way.

Also, Facebook is making assumptions about my personal tastes.  If my "Likes" can't be found on a FB fan page on Facebook (like the book Trust by Frances Fukuyama), Facebook assumes (without consulting me!??!) something else (like the book Trust Me, which I've never read before).  While I appreciate the suggestion, I prefer to have a say in the creation of my own likes and tastes.

The new Facebook is really annoying.  I am considering removing all of my Likes, Interests and About Me info.  After this weekend's FB chat snafu, I've disabled my FB chat function.  I'm probably going to stop sending personal messages over FB as well -- I'm not certain the company cares about my privacy and needs over its need to monetize my information by sharing personal information without my consent or knowledge.

My profile is/was hard to find online -- other than the oversharing due to the issues listed above, only my friends can see me.  Today, some random person from somewhere in Asia sent me a friend request.  Thinking that it might have been someone from high school that I didn't remember, I responded with a message that read, "Hi _____, Thanks for the friend request.  I can't see your picture clearly, so can you remind me of how we know each other?  Did we go to high school together?"

His response: "Yes you can go !"

I'm going assume the answer to my question is NO.  We obviously will not become fast Facebook friends.

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