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I Don’t Facebook

I don’t Facebook. Yes, you read that right; I don’t FB. You might ask, why not Professor Rosner, all my friends and relatives do? The answer is not easily explained. For instance, I would FB if there was a modicum of privacy but there simply isn’t. I did FB for a while but some of the people I was mostly interested in “Facebooking” with didn’t want to FB me (namely my high school and college age sons). I sort of understand their reticence connecting on social media with their mother but I was somewhat taken aback when they explained that they needed THEIR privacy. For goodness sake, it isn’t like I was looking through their rooms or their dresser drawers (more likely their laundry pile) or even worse, their pant’s pockets!

I had allowed them quite a bit of privacy (in my estimation). After a certain age, I stopped asking them lots of things like: who is going to be there when you visit your friends; or are the parents going to be home; or how are you going to pay for that; or what were you and your friends doing or what did you guys talk about? After some contemplation, I realized this is exactly the privacy I was giving up when I was participating in FB. The irony is that user’s (including my sons) are unaware that they were volunteering hoards of information about themselves to FB and other “data miners” without conscious consent. Information they didn’t want their mother to know! Perhaps they read the “terms of agreement” before they signed up for FB and understood that they would be allowing FB to sell a lot of their “user habit information” but I highly doubt it—does anyone read that stuff?

My point is to emphasize that one has a right to privacy and that each of us relinquishes some bits of this right when we use social media. Yes, some information sharing is acceptable but do you really know how much information you are allowing FB, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels to gather. I would guess not. All I am asking is that we start to become media literate in a world where media, marketing and advertising ethics are practically obsolete. If you want to share “what’s in your pant’s pockets” then go ahead freely and without fear of being pick-pocketed by FB (even if you gave consent)…

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