2011 statistics show that Facebook has over 500 million users meaning that 1 in 13 people on Earth now have a Facebook account. With reports that over 1 million links are shared in just 20 minutes it is not surprising that many are starting to become concerned about what and how much we share online. (Statistics from Digital Buzz)
The online sphere has become an over-share of information with us all willingly making available our relationship status, locations, pictures, phone numbers, and thoughts.
You would never see someone walk down the road and scream, Hi, I’m Sarah, I’m 19, I live in Reading, I can show you a map to my house, oh by the way I am going on holiday next week, so yes my house will be empty.
So why do we feel the need to share this information online do we really care if that person we knew in primary school has just fed their cat?
The debate about online sharing continues but it seems none of us are willing to give up indulging in a bit of voyeurism.
As most of you will know Facebook has just undergone a revamp with the majority of its users either willingly or un-willingly being transformed to the new timeline layout.
A nifty design that allows you to click back in time and review your friends posts from say 2006 or 2007. Yes you got it, old photos, messages, relationships, thoughts and arguments that you believed were long gone and buried in the Facebook world have now been thrust into the limelight for all to see.
Imagine my panic!
But what worries me most is that Facebook is not only showing your hundreds of online friends information that you have once chosen to share it has now invented an auto-posting news app.
But unlike Twitter these are not articles that you have opted to view through the users you follow. They are instead articles that you or your friends have clicked on via a link.
The auto-posting of news articles has taken the control away from the online user. Although we may be willing to share some information to the Facebook world are we really ready for our online friends to see into our souls? (Ok maybe a little dramatic.)
A blog I read on the Birmingham Mail increased my annoyance , the writer, Ben Hurst stated that one of his online friends had unknowingly revealed to the Facebook world that they had just read an article on self harming. While another online who was pregnant had just read an article on still births. Upsetting enough without everybody on Facebook knowing.
Now I have officially become a self-conscious news reader, taking more time to select which news articles to read as I now have to actively think about what I want to share with the Facebook world.
I even began to ensure that the Guardian Website was not automatically logged into my Facebook or that if I was to God forbid have a cheeky look at the Daily Mail or The Sun that the whole Facebook world wouldn’t find out that I sometimes enjoys reading the tabloid newspapers.
It’s not just the auto-posts that annoy me about this news app. I want current, up to date news on a topic of interest and instead I find myself reading articles that were written in 2002. I mean what is right about that?
I know the news realm is changing and adapting to try and engage with social networking but if that means I can no longer choose what to read without everybody else being invited to read it to, I would rather it didn’t.