Social Networking is the communication of now, not just the future. All around the world, people are gathering in online communities sharing their lives with one another and yes, they are in real community there. One of the major online communities is at the site Facebook. If Facebook was a country, it would be in the top 10 of largest countries (top five if you just take total number of accounts). Now I am one of those people who communicates regularly through Facebook with friends and family back in the US (yes, even my dad is on Facebook!) and with friends that I have in Germany and around Europe. I share a lot about myself through Facebook as there’s so many I keep in contact with there that I don’t have a chance to see face-to-face or talk on the phone with.
As people get more and more comfortable in a community, they begin to open up more and more – revealing more and more of themselves. This is great! Totally awesome as I believe people need to be free to share all parts of themselves with people who truly care for them. However, the Internet is full of eavesdroppers. People who listen in on these vulnerable conversations and take that information and use it for their own personal gain. The biggest culprits are those that prey on the younger generations and the older generations. For that reason, I just want to bring up the idea that all of us online just need to take a few steps to ensure that we can enjoy our communication online without worrying about being victimized.
If you are on Facebook, take a few moments and read this article about 10 Privacy Settings of Facebook and put into practice some or all of the suggestions they have there. I really want people to enjoy being online but to do so in a safe manner. God bless.