Sunday, May 9, 2010

I like knowing things about people who don't know me

Which is why I'm glad it's so much easier nowadays to find information about people on Facebook. Everyone is complaining that it's becoming harder to keep information private, to which I say, great! I always hate it when I look someone up on Facebook or MySpace (admit it, you still sign in to MySpace two or three times a year just to see what's up), and am told that "this profile is private" or words to that effect. Dammit! I really wanted to see pictures of that girl from my German class, etc.

Wired magazine complains, "you might be a teenager and don’t get that college-admissions offices will use your e-mail address to find possibly embarrassing information about you."

Hey, you know what, if you don't want college-admissions offices to find embarrassing information about you, don't do embarrassing things!

This comment from one matrixphreak007 sums it up for me pretty well (and check out the near-perfect grammar!):

Facebook can do whatever the hell it wants. It’s its own company. Don’t like it? Don’t sign up. You can’t complain about “privacy” when you post information about yourself on the internet. You don’t want people to know something about you? Then, keep it to yourself and don’t publicize it in a world wide network of information.

Afraid someone won't hire you because of your stance on abortion? Screw 'em. You don't want to work for someone who takes irrelevant information into account anyway.

As long as all we're talking about is opinions, photos, group affiliations, and the like—and not seriously sensitive information like e-mail addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers—what's the big deal? Simply avoid doing stupid things, and take responsibility for your speech and actions. If a company passes you up for a job because of those photos of your drunken spring break escapades, tough shit. You probably don't deserve the job anyway.


  1. For the most part, I agree, don't put incriminating information on the Internet, but there are plenty of cases where it's not that clear-cut. Say you live by necessity in a homophobic town in a red state and the only way to connect to other like-minded gay liberals is via the Internet. You might want to protect your identity to avoid being shunned by your neighbors or classmates or coworkers, but never identifying as gay anywhere, even online, would be even more isolating.

    Facebook is "its own company," sure, but any company that lures users in under the guise of privacy and then violates that privacy without warning deserves a little criticism.

  2. Like Emerson said in "Spiritual Laws": "If you would not be known to do any thing, never do it." A very complex sentiment.

  3. So people's sex lives should generally be public information? What if your kinks aren't exactly popular with the populace? What if you were an atheist back when that was considered a crime? Best to just believe in God, then?