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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Social media resister, now considering signing up for something

    Good morning, folks. I have resisted signing up for Facebook, MySpace, everything, as long as it's been out. I even had someone steal my e-mail address and use it on Facebook, and I wasn't aware of it until I tried to access an article published on Facebook and couldn't set up a log-in. I truly have never, ever, had a social media account.

    Every time I think of signing up for one, I have second thoughts. Nobody I know is happy they have an account. It's an obligation, it's a tether, it's a source of stories about having people compromising your privacy, or allowing them to put two and two together on your profile and find out something you didn't want them to know, or being stalked, or being outed, or being embarrassed, or being denied a job, or even being taken for dead because you haven't posted in a while. Why would I want to sign up for that? I've heard about people who've given up social media and they say they feel safer and more free.

    When I think about who would be able to see what I post about myself, I think of my boss, my co-workers, my religious brother (I'm an atheist), a few friends who get along with me without having to know my innermost thoughts every day... I'm a private person and I don't see why I need to make myself available to everyone in the world who cares to look (that is, assuming anyone actually ever does).

    Now, I'm thinking of all the objections my late mother had about the Internet itself. Too much wasted time, too many objectionable things, giving away too much privacy on shopping sites. I start to feel like I'm overreacting about Facebook etc. After all, this is the new way for people to interact. I didn't object to e-mail or online chat, for example.

    Now I can think of an actual legitimate use for social media in my life. I may be transferred to the UK or to Germany for my job. I don't know anyone over there, and I'd like to. Years ago, an online chatroom helped me meet a few people in the city where I am now before I moved here. I guess I have a few questions for the forum.

    • Do you think someone like me should get a social media account?
    • Which site is the best at helping preserve privacy (including compartmentalizing information so it is seen only by who I want to see it)?
    • Which sites are used most frequently by users in the UK and/or Germany, where I may be transferred?
    • Which sites are the least plagued by thugs, scammers, trolls, and illiterates?


    I appreciate all your help and advice.
    Last edited by Speedwell; 2011-08-04 at 07:31.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I cannot answer all your questions. I am an "old fart" and also resisted these thingss. I finally see that my children and grandchildren are on these sites as well as all my siblings. This seems like an easy way to stay in touch.

    Security is only as good as the person using it. See my thread for some security tips. My biggest advice is only post those things you don't mind will get a wider exposure than you intended.
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  3. #3
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    Hello Speedwell and welcome.

    I can appreciate your thoughts and concerns. However, as with almost everything in life, there are no black and white answers. Consider the information you have given publicly in your post above. Although unlikely that anyone could track you down from that, the more one posts on any public forum, the more information is made available and bit by bit a profile is developed. That in itself is not a reason to not use social media sites, but it is a reason to be aware of the dangers.

    I think of it as a constant moving target, being aware of information that you have divulged and how that might be used. In one sense The Lounge is a social network, albeit an rather more focused one than say Facebook.

    I use Facebook and Twitter for both personal and business purposes. I also have a Linkedin account too. I am careful what information I post on those sites and take care to educate my family and friends where possible.

    To answer your questions (these are my opinions and others may have different perspectives):

    • Do you think someone like me should get a social media account?
      Yes, the benefits, if used carefully outweigh the pitfalls, especially if you end up remote from existing friends and family.

    • Which site is the best at helping preserve privacy (including compartmentalizing information so it is seen only by who I want to see it)?
      None are that much better than others in my experience. You have to go hunting for settings and keep them under review and remember that they are personal to you. Other posts in the lounge here may help you find your best settings, but those may be different to mine for example.

    • Which sites are used most frequently by users in the UK and/or Germany, where I may be transferred?
      Without doubt, in the UK, Facebook is dominant. I guess similar in Germany, but I don't have first hand experience of that. If you are a professional seeking to manage you career profile, Linkedin can be useful too.

    • Which sites are the least plagued by thugs, scammers, trolls, and illiterates?
      All are plagued by scammers and fraudsters (but so is "real life"), even some of the more high-brow such as Linkedin suffer. One has to be careful and aware of fraud and scams: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck!



    Good luck with the re-location.

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