FACE it! Everybody's on Facebook. And I love it for a certain purpose. Everybody I know is on it, siblings, cousins, more cousins and long-lost half-brothers-in-law along with dozens of real life acquaintances and some total strangers. It's not a blog, it's not set up to be one. It's for keeping everybody up to date with birthdays and graduations and baby pictures. It's for checking in every now and then, to feel reassured about having a few people in life who actually care what happens to me.
I have just three particular friends that I would like to be friends with on Facebook, so they don't miss out on my exciting status updates like, "Yay! Pizza for dinner!" but they won't join, all for similar concerns. I've nagged enough and don't want to be too obnoxious :-)
So I'll just post this here and leave it for them to see.
Concern #1--what if I join Facebook and continually encounter someone on there whom I don't want to be reminded of?
That's easy. When someone tries to friend you ("friend" is a verb now, thanks to Facebook, which means "to add each other to our friends list") there's links for Accept, Ignore or Block. If you block someone, they will go on your blocked list and you'll never have to see another squeak out of them. The only way you'd see their name again is if you and they are both on another person's friends list. In that case, just don't friend anybody who also knows that person--but it shouldn't stop you from joining Facebook in order to keep up with me!
Concern #2-- if I join Facebook, other people who know me might share information about me that I don't want shared.
Well, yes, that's true. But if you don't join Facebook, they can still talk about you behind your back.
You see, there's Privacy settings! You can set yourself up as more or less invisible, even choosing not to allow others to find you when they search for your name. Then you'll only be able to connect with friends whom you go looking for and add yourself.
Concern #3-- Facebook isn't to be trusted with my private information.
Right. So don't give them any. They only require your first and last name, birthdate and email address. If someone looks in the phone book they'll get more information than that about you. If they look at your driver's license they'll get more information than that about you. You're supposed to put your real information, it's de rigueur, so to speak, to use your real first and last name on Facebook like everybody else, but there's people on my friends list who obviously haven't. The only thing that absolutely has to be accurate is your email address.
You've heard that people can tag you in embarrassing photos? But there's a privacy setting to not allow them.
And after all, you can join Facebook and not SAY one single thing! You can just join MY friends list, and then lurk and listen, and if I post something you like, say "Yay!" in the comments box, and nothing more.
Okay, there. Done nagging.
See? Here's what PRIVACY SETTINGS look like.
Oh, those last few things, I've never entered anything in the boxes :-)