Google+, Facebook and Stupid People’s Privacy

I swear I didn’t intend for these things to be months apart and also all about Facebook, but this is when I have time and this is what I’ve got to rant about today: Why is this focus on social networking privacy even a thing?  Google+ is already being hailed as a great Facebook alternative because of its improved privacy options but the whole concept is a contradiction.

Social networking is, by its very nature, making yourself less private.  You’re voluntarily posting all your personal information, manually typing in lists of your favorite books and movies, intentionally uploading pictures of you doing embarrassing things.  Nobody is forcing you to do any of this, it’s an opt-in system as a whole and all information they have is because you put it there.

But then, inexplicably, people get all up in arms about the fact that social networking sites have this information.  “How dare Facebook change a privacy setting so that the whole world can see the embarrassing picture of me throwing up on a goat!” they shout at their monitors.  “How dare they treat my sensitive personal information with such a wonton disregard!”

How personal can it really be if you put it on the Internet in the first place?  If you don’t want anyone to see a thing, why would you put it out there?  Is the benefit you get from your friends seeing you throw up on a goat worth the risk of your boss seeing it?

You are responsible for your own privacy.  If you want something private, keep it private.  Don’t put it on the Internet.  How is that so difficult?  If you wouldn’t give a physical copy of a picture to all your friends, if you wouldn’t put information up on a bulletin board at work, don’t put it on Facebook.  Done.  Privacy accomplished.  All it takes is just ten seconds of thought and a little bit of not being an idiot.

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