Friday, July 25, 2008

Internet Privacy and Social Networking

If you read the news (or your emails) you would come to think that you are not "with it" if you are not "socially networking online" with Facebook, MySpace, LinkIn, or one of the other social networks. There are many that would tell you that this is a great personal opportunity to make new friends and stay connected with current friends. My son and daughter would say that - and they do. I suppose it is a good thing for some. I have had friends invite me to join them online via email but I have not answered them. I hope I have not hurt their feelings. I did investigate this online club thing once. I joined one of the social/business sites (I won't tell you which one) and filled out some basic info on my business. So far, no one from that network has seemed to want to be my friend. Hmmmmm. Some advocate that businesses do this - join social networks online to help advertise and promote their businesses. It might be a good idea for some but . . . there are others who think otherwise. I have my reservations about posting personal photos and data online for all to see. In the age of identity theft, cyberbullying, and other creepy folks out there it just doesn't make sense to me. Am I wrong? You tell me - leave a comment below. Read a recent article on this topic by John Lenger, an editor and journalism instructor at Harvard University. He has written about Internet privacy issues for a decade. See "No, I don't want to be your social networking friend", Christian Science Monitor, July 18, 2008.

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