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Facebook frankness

I'm startled by the frankness that some people put into their Facebook status updates. Just from my current screen:

A. is "smug and hungover."
B. is just "hungover."
C. is "a drunken rogue. Well, make that a hung-over rogue."
D. is "a terrible flirt......"
E. is "in need of a hug."
F. is "desperately procrastinating [explains about what]"

Disarming, but not sure I would want the whole world to know those things about me. If they were true. Which they aren't. At least not many of them. At least not very often.

But you see what I mean?

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
white_hart
Jul. 13th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
I thought that only people on your friends list could see the status updates? Which makes them less accessible than a public LJ post...
nwhyte
Jul. 13th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
That's true enough; but a lot of people (including me) have colleagues and professional contacts, or indeed just people they don't know particularly well, on their Facebook friends list! I know you can filter, but I haven't found out how (and I think it's a rather crude mechanism, unlike Livejournal's more sophisticated system).
matgb
Jul. 13th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
Not at all true, they're released via a publicly accessible RSS feed; the url of your friends feed is unique to you, but they are public.

For example, here's mine:
http://www.facebook.com/feeds/friends_status.php?id=717005385&key=9e08da07e7&format=rss20

The belief that they're fairly private is common, but it's completely untrue; I know at least one person who's put their status feed onto LJ for example.

Less accessible, yes, but they're there, and indexed, and stored.

nwhyte's correct about the filtering being incredibly crude, if Fb gets that fixed up to what LJ was doing 7 years ago then it'll truly be all conquering; there's a reason Privacy International's report put Facebook as one of the worst offenders but LJ amongst the best after all.

80% of my Fb friends are real life contacts, but a lot are political or in some way professional contacts, that definitely not the case with most of my RL friends. And the generation shift that's taking place about different attitudes to privacy is still confusing to me, let alone employer types who don't follow this sort of thing as an interest.
bastardsnow
Jul. 13th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
I had a facebook friend once who had "... is needing to stop sleeping with her co-workers."

People put all sorts of shit up there.
hawkida
Jul. 13th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
That's what I mean about facebook being weird. There are people - many of them - I'd be happy to tell those sort of things to. But not all of them, not everyone on my list of "friends".
treize64
Jul. 13th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
A dollar minus 98 cents
As someone of a younger generation (facebook became popular just as I and my classmates were getting ready for our first year at college), I think part of the ease/discomfort with such revelations is part of a youth complex.

Judging from the previous comments, it seems most of facebook friendships of the above demographic are professional in nature, or at least, moreso than my demographic where we haven't yet started our professional/political lives. And rules of the workplace (written and unwritten) put all sorts of restrictions on personal infomation colleagues have access to.

We who are still in college don't really have to worry about that as much. (Though many of my friends who've graduated in recent years have had to untag innumerable pictures of themselves!) Also, there's an element of 'drama' to the status update. An exclusivity thing, like an inside joke or coded text. A lot of times, it's just an opportunity for people to be clever (or try).

A lot of my contacts, when we all first became acquainted with facebook (and college), did the whole 'so-and-so is drunk/hungover/can't feel his face/can't figure out where his/her pants/shirt/whatever went.' But the trend is dying (or has died), and I think part of that has to do with 1) getting the excess of college freedom out of our system for the most part and 2) a more nuanced relationship with the social networking platform and, finally, 3) finding other ways of communicating drunkenness, flirtations, exploits in general other than status updates.

So perhaps the sight of such disarming status updates is maybe an attempt to identify as 'one of the facebook-savvy gen.' 'Cause I'd argue that the whole platform is targeted primarily to the college/young professional demographic and while it's useful for people outside that population, there's a lot of extra baggage they could easily do without.

My rather long-winded two cents.
minny
Jul. 13th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
I don't really see the problem? :O Not sure what that says about me!
nwhyte
Jul. 14th, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
...or perhaps about your line of work!
minny
Jul. 14th, 2007 08:28 am (UTC)
Ah I thought Facebook was supposed to be about uni students so it seems about right!
sinclair_furie
Jul. 14th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
My status updates are generally jokes; I'm actually more disturbed by the pictures people are willing to tag.
I think eventually people grow up and stop posting drunken pictures of themselves and discussing minute details of their personal lives on Facebook. At least, I hope so.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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