Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Dangers of Social Media

Like millions--no let's make that trillions--of people around the world I have come to think of facebook as my very own open-book diary.  There is something so heady about sharing an event or special moment instaneously with your entire network of family and friends.

And I believe I speak for many people that this false sense of intimacy can become addicting. The danger is that by sharing too much information, you open yourself up to scammers and you run the risk of hurting other people with your comments.

Both of those experiences happened to me over the past month. When I shared my post: My Shopping Adventures at Walmart, I was sent a proposition by a phony mystery shopping company to do an assignment. The company sent me counterfeit checks to deposit into my banking account and then send the money via Western Union to some residence in Arizona. I researched the company and reported them to the FBI.

Last night I made a flippant comment on facebook about how a couple of ex-boyfriends notified me yesterday.  Of course all my girlfriends on facebook had to put their two cents in. What felt like a girls night at happy hour over cosmos was actually a public conversation for all the world to see. Silly me.

Long story short, I unentionally offended some people. I deleted the entire post and string of comments. But of course the damage was done. Now I know why Alec Baldwin shut down his Twitter account after his Words With Friends game incident on an airport runway.

Because of these incidents, I've decided to deactivate my facebook account. I realize posting is no substitute for actual human socializing. Perhaps I will go back on, but for right now I think it's time to get  a life.

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