To Facebook, Or Not?

We’re anticipating a hard freeze here in Armpit, Florida.  It’s been years since that has happened.

I’ll pause while my northern type friends get out their itty bitty violins.

But people, here in Florida, our houses are not built for the freezing cold.  We’re not built for the freezing cold, she types while whining.

Just curious if I’d garner any sympathy.  I didn’t think so.

Moving on.

Today I had an interesting opportunity to sit around chatting with a bunch of moms from varying walks of life.  It was wonderfully fascinated.

And since the chatting included a sandwich and hold the children, it was a rather freeing experience.

One of the hot button topics we got into was the use of Facebook for personal and professional reasons.  I’m very new to the idea of Facebook (remember, I’m the gal who still had a canary yellow walkman until recently).

I am rather cautious on my blog as to revealing very personal details of my life.  And I lean far to the side of caution by not posting pictures of my children.  And my opinion of Facebook is not completely formulated.

I would have very few “friends” on Facebook because I would try to limit it to people that I really know in my life, and a few bloggers that I have “met” and have an ongoing interpersonal relationship with.  But still, I don’t think I’d be comfortable posting pictures of my kids.

I wanted to open this up to you all for discussion.

Do you use Facebook?  And if so, for what reason?  Also, how far do you go in revealing personal information?

And lastly, what if any, abuses of Facebook have you witnessed?

Let ‘er rip.

deedeesig

67 Responses to To Facebook, Or Not?

  • I use facebook but only allow people I actually know to have access. I have not had any problems nor have I heard of any. Now Myspace, whole different story…

  • I use facebook all the time – I love it!
    If you’re worried, i think you can decide to keep your blog and your facebook account separate. You don’t need to let people (who you don’t know personally) know that you have both. You can use facebook to catch up with old friends, relatives, etc and to keep in touch with current friends, etc. But you dont have to tell us blog-readers that you have it. You can even post pictures of your kids on there to proudly show them off – and still make them only available to people that you have approved.

  • I love Facebook. I have lots of friends from my church, college, and high school that I keep posted on how life is going these days. Although, I have been surprised at some of what I’ve seen online from some of the kids.

  • I don’t want to Facebook. I can’t really say -why- but just the thought of all those people that I used to know …. I’m just not who I used to be, you know?

  • I use Facebook and use real pics of my children and their “gasp” real names. Completely opposite from real life. I have added a small handful of blogging folks as friends, but only when I feel like I have an established relationship with them.

  • I just recently jumped on the Facebook wagon, and have been loving it! I’ve reconnected with friends from high school and college, and it’s been a blast.

    I was nervous, because I had to use my real name, but I have my profile set to only allow people who I approve see it. I still don’t include my city of residence, or my phone number though.

    The only thing I’ve run into has been that since I am “friends” on facebook with some of my blogging friends, I have been able to see the real last names of other bloggers who are also “friends” with them even though the two of us are not “friends” with each other. Once you make “friends” with someone, you can see the names of all of their “friends”. You can’t access their profiles, but you can get their last name, so if you don’t want ANYONE to know it, then I probably wouldn’t do it.

    It is nice too that when I update my Twitter, it also posts to my facebook, so I don’t need to do both. (@replies don’t post to facebook though, only regular tweets)

    Was that more than you wanted to know? 🙂

  • My opinion is mixed.

    I joined Facebook a few months ago, mostly because my siblings were pestering me. I use my real name, but otherwise, I publicize NOTHING. I don’t give my location, I don’t state my high school or college, and I have all the settings set to “private, must ask.” As you assumed, I don’t have many Facebook friends. But that’s OK with me.

    So far, it’s working reasonably well. But remember — anytime it’s out there, it’s out there. The Internet is so vast. If you want to stay hidden, I’d stay away from Facebook if you can help it.

    (Plus, who has the time to keep up with it all?!?)

  • I’m totally against Facebook!!! If you’re not tech savvy you will undoubtedly be allowing anyone and everyone access to messages people leave you and messages you leave other people. The other day I was looking at someone’s page and saw a comment from someone mentioning they were going to be a grandma, but don’t tell anyone yet. However….anyone looking at her page (not the future grandma’s page, but the page of the person the future grandma commented on) would now know this. On another I saw a comment from someone I know saying that lunch sounded good and what days and times she was available. Okay, now I know that my friend ‘Sue’ is planning a lunch with ‘Sarah’. Is that bad? No, not exactly, but the bad thing is that NEITHER Sue nor Sarah told me this information….I feel like I was spying on them! I HATE FACEBOOK! It’s VERY easy to spy and stalk.

  • I’ve been on Facebook for over a year now. I originally joined so I could keep an eye on my teenager who had an account on there. I enjoy it as I got to reconnect with highschool friends, etc. I ensured that my teen and myself both had private settings, and all of that. HOWEVER!!!! To add to what Melody said, people can access your entire photo albums that you set up even if you have private settings…all it takes is for one of your friends to comment on the picture, and then one of their friends can click on the newsfeed that they’ve commented on it, and voila! They can not only see the picture you’ve posted but your entire album of pics. I’m very careful with what I post.

    I do like the idea of using it as a tool to teach my kids how ‘unsafe’ and ‘unsecure’ the internet is. I think that part has been good, because hiding from it isn’t going to make it go away for our kids’ generation. It’s something they’re going to need to have a handle on, particularly for their future professional life. I know many businesses that actually check out potential employees on these type of sites.

    Good luck with your decision!

  • I have only been on Facebook for a few months; I resisted joining for a long time. Even after joining, I largely ignored it for a while. In the last few weeks, though, I’ve become more active and have reconnected with two dear childhood friends this week that I’d “lost.”

    I like it!

  • I LOVE Facebook, but then again I’m a nosy sort. I don’t become friends w/ anyone I’ve not ever met in real life, or had some sort of significant online “friendship” with.

    Facebook works for me b/c I have family and friends scattered all over the globe and it’s a great way for me to connect with them. To me, it’s like mini-blogging.

    Plus, you can play PathWords on Facebook, and no where else.

  • I started out using Facebook as a way to reconnect with people I went to high school with after our last reunion. Now, I keep in touch with friends, family, church family, and online friends (only those I know really well!). I love Facebook!

  • I have really enjoyed using facebook over the last couple of months and like others have said have reconnected with friends from high school and the like…
    it jsut really depends what you like…
    steff

  • It took me a long time to reconcile with the fact that i would only be able to stay in contact with a few of my friends from HS and college. (And I still don’t do so well keeping in touch with those). Facebook only brought back the guilt of “friends” that I failed to keep in touch with in the first place. Don’t have the time and don’t need the guilt. But the voyeuristic side of me likes looking over a friends shoulder while they are on facebook…just to see what friends from the past are up to. (:

  • I love FB, but then, my family is mostly overseas, and it is an easy way for me to post photos of the kids where Grandma and Grandpa and aunts and uncles can easily see them. Somehow I ended up with over 100 friends, even though I don’t become FB friends with anyone I don’t know well in real life–or at least used to know well. Since I grew up overseas, all my friends are scattered across the globe, some with whom I had very deep and meaningful relationships and probably will never get to see in this world again. I have all my controls set to private, and I don’t allow friends of friends to view my photos. I need to check up on what Colleen said, because I don’t want strangers looking at my photos, which is why I have it set so only my own friends can see them.

  • First of all, I hear you on the freezing Florida temperatures. I’m from much farther north and I still hate how cold it is right now! Plus I don’t even WANT to know how bad my utility bill is going to be!

    As far as facebook, I set it as private and only will be friends with those I know in real life. I post pics of my family (which I do on blogs too, but not my location.) I haven’t experienced any horrors with it set on private, and neither have any of my friends. I honesty think it is pretty safe…as long as you are not on public view.

  • I use facebook, but limit my friends to only REAL LIFE friends and family. Period. Pictures, info, it’s all out there. (And my profile is private, so you can only see it if you’re my “friend.”)

    It’s helped me stay connected to people, and I love that!

  • I have no sympathy for your coldness, she types while it is -3º outside.

    I use facebook, but only look at it about once every 2 weeks or so.

    It just isn’t my ‘thing’.

  • I don’t FB either. I’ve considered it a few times, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Even though the idea of reconnecting with old friends is kind of nice, as someone else said, I’m not the same person I was twenty years ago. Plus I can barely seem to find the time to keep everything flowing in my life now. I don’t need to add something to it that could conceivably take up hours a day (as it does with two of my sil’s).

    Now let’s add the scary point that someone else made that even if you keep yours set to private, if any of your friends makes a comment about one of your pics then anyone else can see all of your pics via that one little link. Wow. Yeah, I think I’ll hold off for a while longer!

  • I too jumped on the FB bandwagon in December and have reconnected with several old high school and college friends. There are definitely pros and cons to FB. It’s fun to reconnect and find old friends but I think it can definitely easily be a tool used by Satan in our lives. I see Moms that I know that are on there all the time commenting and posting and playing games and I’m thinking about all the time they are wasting. I know one woman who got so addicted that she is now “fasting” from Facebook for a month. I don’t worry too much about the privacy because I only post things I don’t mind my closest friends seeing and I limit who is going to be my Facebook friend. Some people have hundreds of friends. I never want to have that many. I just want to be able to connect with long distance friends, primarily. It’s funny how you feel like you don’t have any extra time but then you add something like FB in your life and suddenly you have the time to do that. So what suffered? That’s what I keep asking myself. Do my kids get less of me because now I do Facebook? Does my husband? So, I have to keep it in check. Do it once a day for no more than ten minutes. That’s it.

  • I haven’t done Facebook. Mainly for the reasons you’ve said (privacy, etc).

    But it sounds like I’m missing out!

  • I LOVE Facebook. OK, I’m addicted to Facebook. I grew up in Africa as a missionary kid. Formed the strongest friendships I’ll probably ever find (including a strong relationship with my husband, though I didn’t know it at the time). Because of our situation, when I graduated, all of my friends scattered to various parts of the world. Facebook brought us all back together. It’s amazingly fun to be reconnected. And I share everything on there (except my address and exact city location)…pictures, etc. I have witnessed no abuses, though I’ve heard they’re out there as with anything else internet related. I should also mention, that, as desperately lame as it sounds, FB fills a little void…you know as well as I that we stay-at-home homeschooling moms sometimes–just sometimes–miss having a little adult interaction. I can interact (live!) with my friends in Australia or Africa or Minnesota any time I want on FB!

  • I bet I’ve been asked 100 times in the last month , “Are you on Facebook?” Peer pressure keeps screaming at me to sign up, but I keep resisting merely because, oh my goodness, it will be ONE MORE THING that I have to keep up with. I have enough that I can’t get done already.

    But I am weak, so I will probably eventually cave….

  • I know a ton of people who use Facebook. I don’t use facebook. I’m not opposed to it, I just don’t want to add any extra time to something else. I try not to get on the computer till the kids are in bed or first thing in the morning. But sometimes that doesn’t even work out.

  • I love FB. It has been a great tool to connect with old H/S friends and old church friends. I love the instant chat portion and love being able to talk to my friends ‘live’. I love sharing pictures too.
    I have not experience any negative issues. I do utilize the setting that my page, pictures, everything can only be viewed by my friends.
    FB mobile is great too! Nothing like being in touch 24/7!
    Get on the bandwagon girl!

  • I use facebook, daily actually, but in a very reserved manner.

    I only “friend” my family and true friends. I’ve ignored many a request from co-workers or people from the past… that is just not my interest. I have reconnected with a few old friends, but they were people I really did want to catch up with.

    I’m also pretty anal about male “friends”. I do think, if you’re not careful, that the appropriate boundaries between men and women could be easily smudged. I just imagine how I’d feel if my I looked up my hubby’s fb friends and saw a bunch of women from his past that he chatted with… it would be weird. Therefore I don’t allow men, aside from family, as my “friends”.

  • I’m on Facebook.

    I use it as a way for people to contact me if they like, a reminder for birthdays when I forget, and a way to peep into the lives of others with whom I do not converse regularly.

    I don’t do much on it myself (don’t post many pictures or change my “status” all the time), but I have a pretty open presence on the internet–especially on my blogs. When the internet started to get big I was paranoid, now I’m working on getting more “visible” [smile].

    [shrug] My two cents.

    And if you ever felt like having more friends on Facebook, please feel free to add me [smile]. I also use Facebook to stroke my ego, so I love having more friends… just sayin’.

    ~Luke

  • I am very new to facebook as well. I just joined about 3 weeks ago. I limit my friends to those I knew in college, current friends and family, and a few I have “met” blogging or another yahoo group.

    I don’t post pictures of my nephews on my blog, but I did post only one of each on Facebook, again, because I knew it would only be those who are my “friends” that would see them.

    I have not, yet, witnessed any abuses. I have declined a few people who wanted to be my “friend” who I didn’t know.

    I use it to stay in contact with those from college to discuss Homecoming and things like that. Being on the Alumni committee I have found that this works best in “keeping in touch.” 😉

    The only “drawback” is the advertising. Like Myspace they accept all kinds of advertising, and you never know what might “pop up” on your screen, so you may want to wait to get on until there are no kiddos around. Hope this helps. 😉

  • Ok I will jump in on this one. I do have a facebook and I love that it is private automatically (I think you can make it public but I am not tech savvy enough to figure it out nor do I want to) and I have enjoyed catching up with long lost friends. However that being said after reading some of the above comments they do have a point that I had not thought of …the clicking on a picture and then everyone with access to the person that comments on your pic being able to see it. Not liking that. However you might give it a couple months because since Facebook has really just taken off recently I am sure they will make changes and maybe seal up that leak. 😉

  • I joined Facebook several months ago just to be able to view a friend’s photos. Since then, I’ve reconnected with some old high school friends. That’s been fun. A few people from church have “found” me, too. And that’s okay. I don’t post any pictures on Facebook. None. Nada.

    Abuse? Only once that I’ve witnessed personally. A guy that was in my graduating class left an inapproriate comment for me which was read and very much not appreciated by my husband.

    However, I’ve seen through teens’ Facebook pages how easily info about everyone can be connected and passed along to others. Therefore, I’ll never use Facebook for anything other than just reconnecting. Anyone that I want to go beyond the “Hi, how’s the last 10 years treated you?” I’ll handle outside of that.

    My teens? No Facebook or My Space. No way!

  • I’m new to facebook, and at first I didn’t quite understand why people did it, but I’ve found it to be a great way to reconnect with friends from high school, past places we’ve lived, etc. And, you have to “confirm” someone as a “friend” before they are able to view any information about you besides your name and profile picture (if you choose to put one up), so it’s semi-private.
    I haven’t experienced any abuses at this point.
    I don’t know if I’d let my children use something like this in the future (they are too young now), but if they did I would want to monitor it as it is easy to put too much of yourself out there.
    I figure if you’re content with blogging (soemthing I don’t do); emailing; phone calls; then don’t worry about facebook. But, if you try it out, you may realize it’s kind of fun and you can protect yourself on it just as well.

  • I have had facebook since it first started (when only college students with a valid college email etc were allowed to join) I just feel like facebook is so much less sketchy than myspace because they have so many privacy settings etc. You basically set it to what you’re comfortable with (if you dont want “friends of friends” to be able to see your pictures – then you can change that setting when you post them) Anyways, I put everything on there except my location . . . I love it! 🙂

  • I joined Facebook for about a week so I could track down an old friend from high school (mission accomplished). I had a good time typing in random names of people I haven’t seen in a long time. But then the “friends” thing got started. And Facebook started sending me messages letting me know who had signed on to a friend’s page and did I want them to be my friend too? I found the whole thing a little creepy frankly. So I quit. But that’s just me. I know a lot of other people who love it and don’t find it at all creepy.

  • I joined Facebook and have realized all of the things mentioned above. Facebook does not start off defaulting to the most private settings in all areas, so make sure you have someone help you set those properly before you start adding friends. (My photos are now only viewable by my friends, not the default setting allowing “friends of friends.”)

    I also quickly discovered that instead of the few friends I would love to reconnect with from high school, only the border-line stalker guy VERY quickly found me. I ignored his friend request and then hunted through the setting so as to become VERY private on Facebook.

    I only have a handful of friends, and they consist only of women who are from church and mothers of my children’s friends. It is a fun way to keep up with them – in fact I have found out who’s pregnant and what they’re having through Facebook many times. We arrange playdates and craft nights through Facebook.

    I have a good friend from church who tried Facebook, but closed her account because within a couple of days, an old boyfriend from high school found her and that upset her husband.

    So, go ahead, but be very careful and thorough about being private.

  • Just going to add my 2 cents here. Many good points have already been made, though. You don’t have to post any pictures. I post very few. I am only friends with family, high school, college, church, and a few blogging friends. I use my real full name, but you could set up an account with just your first name and last initial. It would be harder for people to find you (to make a friend request), but my son’s girl friend has her acct set up that way.

    I personally love FB much better than Twitter. More personal connections than being followed by a bunch of strangers.

    Hope that helps.

  • It is so funny that you posted that entry today. A friend of mine got me to play Pathwords, and to do that you have to have Facebook, so I signed up and did not even post a picture. Now two of my old bridesmaids I haven’t seen in 6 years or so have found me and asked for pictures. I posted a few and then deleted them. I do not use pictures or real names of my kids on my blog either. I am not sure what to think.
    I am praying about it. My friends from church all have accounts and say it is harmless?
    Oh, and we had a fabulous time at Disney, thank you for the advice. I did not even eat a churro (spelling) and I am doing the better eating plan with you, too.
    Love your writing. I did not even see one frog on our trip to Florida, and I am relieved!

  • I don’t think I’ll add anything new, but I did want to say I just got a Facebook a month ago, and it has really bothered me how many pictures there are of me and my family on there. Old friends can tag you in a photo and they end up part of your profile. We have a huge family, and anytime someone snaps a pic of my kids, it ends up there. I have asked for family to not put pictures of the kids on FB, but adoring aunts and uncles don’t always listen.

    I do post pictures of my kids on my blog, but only people I actually like know about my blog. I’m not quite as popular as you ; )

    And I will whine with you about this cold! I’m just a bit north up here in GA, but why does it ever have to drop below 50*???

  • I joined FB in early 200…4?, when it was only open to 15-20 universities. At the time, only people at your own school (with school email addresses) or people you were confirmed friends with could see your profile. I was only talked into joining because of how closed the system was. (Myspace always creeped me out, I made a token, mostly blank profile to appease a few people and left it at that.)

    The privacy controls now are pretty extensive and customizable – I think it largely came about due to FB’s expansion and the outcry from users whenever the audience was greatly expanded (all colleges and universities, then high school students with school email addresses, and most recently anyone). I’m pretty anal about what’s out there and linked to me (“Deb” isn’t even my name, and I never provide my primary email address online), but fine with FB. Only confirmed friends can see my profile, and I have it set so my photo albums have varying levels of privacy based on what they are. (Most are friends only, but now that my sister and b-i-l are on and post pictures of their kids I have my albums of my nieces and nephew set to “friends of friends” – at their request – so that their friends can see pictures of mine of them and their kids. They’re very safety conscious in RL with the kids, but are comfortable with appropriate pictures being online with privacy controls to share with friends and family.)

    One thing that bothers me is how easy it is to follow the day to day life of someone who’s fallen into the real-life “acquaintance” category. You can categorize your friend list, and I have mine set so that people I haven’t talked to in a few years – who I don’t want to de-friend, and who I’d like to congratulate on an engagement, marriage, or kids – don’t see my wall postings or (rare) status updates. That REALLY cuts down on how much of your life someone can follow without your knowledge. (You can also disable your public wall entirely, but I like the feature for use among circles I’m still in active contact with.)

    I saw an earlier comment about friends of friends seeing a photo (set to “friends only) once a friend comments on it and it appears in their newsfeed (depending on their own settings) – I’m not positive about this. I have very few notes, all set to only be seen by those who are tagged, and when logged in as myself I can see “Deb tagged ____ in note ___” in their newsfeed – but if I look at the same newsfeed logged in under my dad’s account, or a friend’s (neither of whom were tagged to be allowed permission to see that the note existed), that item disappears from the feed. Worth finding out about, but I wouldn’t assume that the item appears in the feed for those without permission to see the item in question (the one who posted the original item obviously has permission, so it appears in the feed for them).

    I’ve never had my address or cell phone/IM name in FB’s database, though if I did I could control who could and couldn’t see each piece. Though addresses are already available – unless unlisted – with your full name in online address books. Another sidenote is that, if someone tags you in a picture (linking that picture to your profile), you’re informed and can remove the tag – it doesn’t take the picture down, but it does remove the linkage to your FB identity.

    My only FB issue of late? The influx of older cousins and some aunts and uncles who have recently joined, and post far more frequent and partisan status updates than is healthy for me to read. :-p It’s great to keep in better touch with some of them, and get to know others better, but with that sometimes comes starting to like a few a bit less from time to time. Same thing would happen in RL!

  • I LOVE facebook! You would be surprised all the people you would find on there, DeeDee! I am friends with about 45 people from my church (of 150 people) alone!

    The only caution I would say to you is that when you post photos or write on your friends ‘walls’, people that your friends are friends with can see those photos & ‘wall’ messages…even if they’re not your friends. But I share a lot on there, and I’m only friends with people I know in real life.

  • I’ve used facebook for about a year. I have the privacy settings set on my photos so that only friends can see them. Even if a friend comments on my photos, none of their friends are able to click through my photo albums unless they’re on my friend list too. I keep pretty close tabs on my friend list and purge it out as necessary.

    I am amazed, though, at how many people are totally open with their photos. It’s very easy to click through to photos of people whom you’ve never even heard of. So check the privacy controls. I’m amazed at the kind of stuff some teenagers are posting.

    I do try to limit myself to about 10 minutes a day. When you first join up, it seems to suck up lots of time because you’re reading everyone’s profiles. That slows down after a while and you can check in periodically. 🙂

  • Facebook can be a powerful tool and a powerful weapon. I work w/ the youth group at my church and there are other youth leaders who don’t use much discretion when it comes to FB which has been detrimental to some of our youth. I also see a bunch of our teens wasting hours and hours on it rather than creating real relationships. There is definitely a sense of false intimacy.

    On the other hand, for me, as an adult it’s been a great place to reconnect, post photos, videos, etc. In fact, my hubby and I just took a trip over the holidays and were able to visit with his former Bible study leader & wife (we hadn’t seen them in 10 years). It was amazing. If we hadn’t seen each other on FB, it never would have happened.

    So, basically, I think it has to do with discretion and self-control. And it’s just some plain ol’ fun.

  • I haven’t been that worried about the privacy issues but I also haven’t really considered Facebook that seriously. For me, it’s more of a time issue. I could easily see it becoming a huge time-suck. My husband is on Facebook as his 25th high school reunion is this year and a bunch of the class signed up. It’s kind of interesting to see what his old classmates are up to and I can see why people like it for that.

    I’m pretty introverted and have always preferred a small number of close friends. I’d rather put the time into devleoping those relationships than into keeping up with friends on Facebook.I hope that doesn’t sound snarky…I don’t mean it that way. Just that it’s not for me.

    It may also be a generational thing. I’m not sure I’m hip enough for Facebook. I think your canary yellow Walkman sounds pretty cool.

  • Frankly, since I don’t have much traffic on my blog at all, I’m not all that scrupulous about it. Plus, Facebook allows you to make each photo viewable by “Everyone,” “Friends of friends,” or “Friends Only.” Which makes me feel pretty good about it.

    I also like that you can use your blog’s RSS feed thingie to automatically post your “actual” blog posts to your Facebook notes. No “copy-paste” nonsense. Which is nice.

    I’ve enjoyed finding friends from high school, and catching up.

    Just my $0.02. Since you asked and all. 🙂

  • I am a Facebook junkie. As a WAHM, I need contact with grownups. It’s been a great way to catch up with old friends, and to know what’s going on with those I see more often. I haven’t crossed the line into bloggy friends on Facebook, because I’m trying to keep that a little separate. Some day I may not care. But for now it’s just people I know in “real life.”

  • I just started using it. I set my privacy to only friends on about everything. I only accept friends who I know or at least have a long history of blog friendship with. I don’t publish personal info at all like my birthday, address or the such. If a friend wants it I would give it to them if they do not already have it but it is not on my profile.

    I’m enjoying reconnecting with former friends this way. And relatives who I don’t see often.

    I have just recently gotten over the fact that people I know from facebook can also view my blog. Only because I have my blog address listed. But very few real friends take the time!

  • I have no personal wisdom to expound on this subject but I can tell you that my 21 year old daughter has recently cancelled her facebook account. When she started college she immediately set one up like all her friends, but like most things these days it just kept getting more and more invasive, annoying, nasty and etc. She still uses a myspace page but has it restricted. She actually said the other day that she thinks it should be outlawed. She’s still friends with lots of teenage high school kids whose parents TOTALLY trust them, therefore they are swapping stories about sex and drinking on their facebook pages all the time.

  • I’ve been using FB for over a year now, and most of the time I LOVE it! I would have to say the best part is connecting with so many friends from so many different parts of my life in one place. The worst part is all the time I end up spending there!

  • Mr. Security (as Diane is often apt to call me) says, treat your facebook profile as if it were PUBLIC and you will be fine.

    FYI – In many instances photo links are actually available to people who don’t even carry a facebook account.

    Post minimal info to connect with friends from your past and present. Once connected, use another medium for communication or sharing of anything of a personal nature.

    Just my two cents.

    Robert

  • I am on it but still don’t have peace about it so I will probable deactivate it soon. Too much gossip. too much of a time waster reading all those pointless status updates and whatnot. do I really want to know what they ate for dinner?
    thanks for polling on it glad there are others who feel about it as i do… that it is not just me. All the reasons I don’t like it are listed here:
    I agree with
    #48 on security,
    #42 on it being a huge time-suck,
    #26 about the male friend thing,
    #9 about the photo tag thing.. that is true and
    #4 ain’t the same person I was and when I think of those I knew… not so sure I want to know what they are up to now. seen some of the old crowd on friends walls and… YIKES!!!
    The good, the IM part because not so many IM on msn, yahoo, and aol anymore because they do it on facebook now…but when you are not in the same timezone as most of your friends…well it becomes pointless… i can email them just as easily as message them from facebook.
    you did say let her rip.
    By the way, I really enjoy your blog. I live in a ‘developing country’ and I find your blog very entertaining and gives me a good laugh quite often. Laughed recently about your cold snap. It is usually 90 to 100 here and recently we had a night where it dropped to 73 and the natives were actually wearing coats, hats, and gloves. others were still wearing tank tops and shorts… it was really weird to see.

  • I resisted having my own facebook account for several years (hijacking my hubby’s when it suited me). But I broke down and started one Jan. 1st. Because it’s simply another way to communicate with people. We’re missionaries on the field and doing our level best to stay in touch with folks back home, including those from churches that pray for us. I’m finding it somewhat time consuming but figure we’re still in the learning curve at this point. Still prefer the blogging but can just reach more people on facebook.

    We lived in Florida for 5 years and I used to love calling people in winter and saying things like, “Oh my word, it got so cold I had to close the window!” LOL

  • I can’t really get the hang of FaceBook. It is definitely a time suck that I can’t afford. More power to those that love it. Twitter seems to be more my speed.

  • I’ve been on Facebook for a while, ever since a friend invited me to be part of a discussion group there. I’ve just recently started visiting my Facebook page more often. Just yesterday I connected with our next door neighbors who were our best friends growing up.
    I have friends all over the globe and Facebook is a wonderful way to keep connected.
    I don’t post pictures at all and only become friends with people I know.

  • I adore FB! I have been able to connect with a ton of high school friends that I had lost touch with. I use my full name (maiden name included), my husband’s name (he has his own FB account) and my childrens’ names on my page. My settings are set to private so only people I approve can see that information.

    I love being in contact with my old friends, my church friends, my pastor, my family, etc.

  • I love me some Facebook! You can make it as public as you want or as private as you see fit. It’s up to you. You know what’s best for you and your family! If you are uneasy about it, then don’t do it. Easy as that!

    But it is nice to reconnect with high school friends I must admit. Especially seeing how all the cute guys are now fat and bald. Hehe!

  • I love FB! Oh my I love FB. As others have stated, limit the access (this is done during the set up process) and then be careful who you add as as friends. Then have fun reconnecting with old friends and family! Have fun with the Flair! (You’ll learn more about this on FB).

  • I have a FB, though I’m not super active on it. I’ve really enjoyed getting back in touch with HS, college and church friends. It’s also a great place to find out about things that are going on with different groups. I love that I can see who’s planning to attend an event.

    I’m pretty careful. My last name is only associated with it in that the e-mail account I use for FB has my last name associated with it. I use my first and middle names. If I were married, I don’t think I’d worry about that so much.

    When someone tags you in a photo, you can remove the tag. I haven’t done this because I don’t want my friend to feel bad. The pics I’m tagged in aren’t so much inappropriate as they are just bad/ugly pics of me.

  • I just joined FaceBook this past weekend. I am amazed at the people that have added me or requested to be added to mine. Nieces and nephews I NEVER see…blogger friends…email buddies….someone I graduated with…OLD older church family…. UNBELIEVABLY fun!

  • I try to be conservative about what I reveal about my family on my blog. Although I do post pictures, I don’t use our names and try to avoid giving any information that reveals where we live, etc.

    That being said, I love Facebook! I have complete control over who sees the information, so I can be much more free with what I say and post. It’s been great to reconnect with old friends around the country and get to know some people from my church much better. I always restrict access to the photos I post to “friends only” so I know who’s looking. (I put up a lot more there than I would on my blog.) I haven’t witnessed any abuses personally.

    Go for it! You’ll love it!

  • There is much wisdom written in these comments.

    I, myself, want to add…

    I have been in better contact with old friends this way. You know the ones that live far away, and are sporadic emailers (and never write & apparently don’t know how to work phones!)

    I am gearing up for a major HS reunion. I have reconnected with HS people, and actually am finding it amusing to see how different they have become with the passing of time.

    I, personally, don’t post too many pictures, nor do I post things that I would find embarrassing, or would embarrass my family. I know that once posted, I have limited control on who might eventually see those photos.
    When I post a status I make it harmless, and follow the same guidelines as with photos.

    I have added some professional friends to my “friends” and am learning from them and about them. Kinda cool.

  • I use facebook but limit my “friends” to people I know. I started using it because my college kids did, and I wanted to make sure I was right in there with them, just being a “presence” so they would always remember that mom knows everything you do. I’m friends with lots of their friends and we all get along famously. We’ve had no problems, but we talk often about being careful about info on the internet, etc.

  • I have done “thorough scientific tests” on the theory that others can see your photos, and they CANNOT. Not if you set your privacy for each album to Friend Only. Note, you must go into each album separately and set the privacy level. If you do this, strangers or friends of friends will not be able to view your photos even if your friends post your albums to their profiles. What happens is, if you have your album set to “Friend only” any comments that any friend makes on those photos WILL NOT APPEAR on friends of your friends (strangers) profiles or their view of mutual friends profiles.
    I believe that the default setting is lower than Friend only, which is why you can click on comments in someone’s profile and see strangers photos. That person has not set their album to Friend only.

  • Well, I’m a college student, so I have a facebook, I’ve had one since they opened it to High School Students honestly. I only friend people I know, or who go to my school and I vaguely know. This post has honestly helped me a lot, my older sister recently joined FB and there are just some parts of my life that I don’t share with her due to an incessant habit of hers to gossip.
    I had completely forgotten that you could set individuals friend’s viewable profiles to see less stuff. Now I don’t have to pretend like I don’t see her invite!

  • #61 – It is prudent to assume that it is ALL public.

    If you are a techie… like yours truly… there are search mechanisms available… we’re not talking about Google or Yahoo here… there are proxies available… there are caches of browse activity available… searchable caches.

    When I say your FB info is PUBLIC, I’m not talking public to everyone, but there is a lot more avalable to those who know how to look for it than you can imagine. And we’re not talking about needing to be Jack Bauer to get it either.

    My wife does facebook… it drops my jaw to see her friends do the constant update and chat crap… yes I said “crap”… examples…

    “We’re packing to leave on vacation to Florida on Monday for TWO WEEKS!”

    “Just about to leave with my hubby for date night… the kid’s ‘ll be home with Jennifer – she’s such a good babysitter!”

    “I’m FINALLY getting some alone time… Jim’s out of town… I think I’ll curl up with a good book.”

    This kind of blow by blow life information is NOT a good idea to be sharing on FB – some of the people that you used to know – may not be the same people you used to know – or maybe you’ve been on FB for a while and have gotten a little lax about friends of friends or online aquantances becoming profile “friends”.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg… pics of peoples kids… up to the minute information about where their kids are… what they are doing now or next week.

    These are not the kinds of things to be chatting about on FB – and I am not insinuating that anyone here is doing this, but I see it all too frequently.

    Not trying to scare anyone either… like I said, my wife uses FB… just trying to remind people to use this stuff in a prudent manner.

    Blessings and warmest of regards,
    Robert

  • I enjoy facebook. I can see the security issue being a problem though. I guess like with everything else…you just have to be careful. I do not add anyone as a friend that I do not “know”. 🙂

  • I started up with Facebook a few months ago, and I’m delighted with the new contacts I’ve made with old friends. It’s also helpful to sometimes find out what’s happening to friends & relatives who live far away. BUT: many times, the information I get from friends are things like “__ is so excited about today!” without telling WHAT that excitement is. There’s a lot of that!

    At first, I would try to write one-liners about myself. And I feel uncomfortable about this. It seems too much like bragging, and with the adults, I think it often is. “Martha is baking 2 turkeys with her special lime recipe.” “Sally is baking FIVE turkeys with cilantro, red wine, and in the new roaster she purchased with money from the Contest she won that tests for the smartest woman in the state of New York.” “Well, Carmella is baking 5 turkeys, deep frying 6 turkeys, and getting ready to feed 3,000 people!”

    To me, it seems that blogging allows a person to discuss feelings, thoughts, musings…and that Facebook just concentrates on me and my very own selfish self. I guess blogging is about oneself too, but not in the same way. So I’ve decided to read Facebook, but not participate very much. And instead work on writing more often on the blog, which might be a bit more interesting to others.

  • I think facebook has no depth. Blogs are more my style. I do have a profile and send hearts and comment on other’s status’, but its not my favorite avenue for keeping in touch.

  • I read this back when you posted it, but just today read an experience of fraud my friend had with facebook, thought it might interest you even if you have signed on!
    http://brycemoore.livejournal.com/116162.html