Initial thoughts on Facebook

Am I alone…or is anyone else out there feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of Facebook?  Or feeling wary, especially after reading Kabani’s chapter:

      • “…lawyers can look up your Facebook profile and use it to judge whether you should be on a jury”
      • “Companies can screen job applicants based on their internet photos and postings (that’s everything from Facebook and Twitter to Flickr and blogs)”
      • “…Facebook ads allow you to “hypertarget” based on demographic information and key word information found in profiles….For example, an Italian restaurant in Cleveland can choose to advertise only to men and women ages twenty-five to forty who list “Italian food” as an interest.  A Dallas florist can choose to advertise only to women within a twenty-five-mile radius of Dallas who list themselves as “engaged”.

And here I thought I was being overly paranoid when I set up my Facebook account last year with just the bare-bones of information in my profile – no interests, no likes, no job information ( I did put in marital status to prevent “pick up” friend requests – got one any ways – lol).  And lets not even get into how long I spent setting up all the privacy levels on my account!  It was secured like Fort Knox – so much so that my nephew had to call me to say: “Can you please change your settings so I can actually comment on your posts!”

Okay…so Facebook is Big Brother.  I guess that shouldn’t stop me from participating.  It just means that I will continue to be extremely cautious about how I use it.  I will continue to think carefully before I ever click on the “like” button, knowing that this information is shooting back to Big Brother.  I will continue to think before I post anything on Facebook – If I’ve made a mistake in my security levels and a potential employer saw this post or picture, would I be okay with it?  And on my personal Facebook account, I will continue to only “friend” people who are my definition of friends, not Facebook’s definition.

And if I do decide that Facebook might help market me as a writer one day?  Then I will definitely follow in Kabani’s footsteps and set up a separate Facebook account for “work” and will continue to keep my personal Facebook for friends (real friends) and family.  My “work” Facebook will be strategic in how it is set up and will define “friends” in the more tradtional Facebook way – as contacts.

So…how does a wannabe writer use Facebook to her advantage?  Stay tuned for my soon-to-be-released next post.  🙂

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