Facebook: Chill out or go away

We all woke up last week to big changes on Facebook, and you’d think by the way people were carrying on, Facebook stole your husband, kicked your dog and went on a cruise with your life savings.

I think the biggest problem was that the developers rolled out these changes before everyone had their first cup of coffee. That’s never a good idea. I mean, just yesterday I told my husband, in all seriousness, that I would die if I didn’t get a cup of coffee.

I think the biggest complaint has been the ticker, the continuously updating mini-feed on the right corner of your screen. they’re calling it “stalker-y” and an invasion of privacy.

The truth is, your privacy settings haven’t changed. From the Facebook FAQ about the Ticker:

Ticker only displays information that you’re already able to see elsewhere on Facebook. If you start seeing stories in ticker that you haven’t noticed before, it’s probably because ticker makes things easier to discover. It doesn’t mean that privacy around Facebook has changed.

You can control the privacy of everything you post to Facebook through the privacy settings next to your post. Remember that when you comment or like something, the comment or like will have the same privacy settings as the original post.

Basically, you can now change the settings on individual posts. The default for each post is what you’ve set it in your privacy settings. If I have my privacy settings on “public” anyone can see anything on my page AND all the comments on everything. That means even if you have your Facebook “locked down”, if you comment on someone’s post and they have it marked public, your comment will be available for the whole world to see.

I’ve seen a few friends posting this:

FACEBOOK PRIVACY ISSUES – Please do me a favor:
1) hover over my name here, wait for the box to load and then hover over the “Subscribe” link.
2) Then uncheck the “Comments and likes” choice. I would rather my comments on friends’ posts not be made public. Thanks
3) Then repost if you don’t want your EVERY MOVE posted on the right for everyone to see! :) I’ll do the same for you if you want. just click “like”. Pass it on !

The only thing this will do is make it so nothing you do will show up in that person’s feed.

The fact  is, almost everything you do on Facebook when you interact with OTHERS has the potential of being seen by their friends, their friends’ friends, and possibly the whole world. YOU have no control over that, only what information you share with others.

That’s the scary and wonderful thing about social media.

I understand the concerns, especially because Facebook privacy controls are notoriously confusing, especially for individuals who aren’t familiar with computers or the Internet, which (let’s face it) is an increasingly larger percentage of Facebook’s audience.

However, if you’re really and truly concerned about privacy, social media isn’t for you. I’m a blogger, so this doesn’t worry me like it does some others (considering I regularly blog about my life in a fairly public setting.)

Imagine we didn’t know each other. I walk up to you and say, “Hi. I’d like to you fill out this entire page with information about yourself, from where you work to your phone number. I’ll also need hundreds of pictures of you, your friends and family. Please tell me everything you like to eat, drink, wear and watch. I’ll just put it here in this safe. By the way, 8 billion people have the combination.”

You’d say no and walk away.

Facebook will never be as secure as you want it. Part of the problem is Facebook; a bigger problem is the overarching question of internet privacy. Nothing you put online is truly safe, no matter how tight your privacy settings.

If you’re really worried about it, don’t use it. If you’re a little bit angry, think twice about what you post, take some time figuring out your Facebook privacy settings and hope for the best.

And while we’re on the subject. This? Is not funny. it wasn’t funny the first time, it’s not funny now.

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47 comments to Facebook: Chill out or go away

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    My issues have nothing to do with privacy. Internet is forever, people! If you post it, it’s there for life! So no, I have no problem with privacy issues.

    What I DO have a problem with is Facebook telling me what I will want to read about! It’s like being in Red China with Dear Leader. Hi Big Brother, thy name is Facebook. I don’t want to be told what to read! I just want to see stupid shit my friends post in chronological order, with the choice to read further or skip the link!
    Mrs. MidAtlantic recently posted..Naptime!

    • Amanda

      Yeah, that is definitely a bummer. I did notice that they added a new “recent stories” link…so it skips down to your recent stories instead of the “top stories”. You know what’s helped me….I put all the people I care to read about on their own list and the lists appear in chronological order! Have you tried that? There are definitely some annoying flaws. Lately I haven’t been getting my notifications on things like tags and posts on my wall. WTH?

  • Dana K

    Thank you for this, seriously. I am all about internet security, but I also realize there are limits. I keep certain things off the VERY “public” parts of the internet (like my blog, fb fan page, etc) but it’s mainly to keep employers & people in Klaw’s future from googling his name & easily finding out about his assplosions. Nothing on the internet is truly private just like those nudie pics you take on your cell phone are never truly private (I’m looking at you, Scarlett).
    Dana K recently posted..Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week

    • Amanda

      Yeah, we all have to take some responsibility for it. We can’t just put whatever out there and hope someone else keeps it safe. It’s only truly safe if you keep it offline!!

  • Cathy

    OMG. People were fuh-reaking out when these changes happened. Whatever dudes, it’s the internet and it’s a free service. Deal.

    Also, I don’t have the stalker ticker thing. People keep talking about it, but I don’t have it.

    That facebook while you facebook thing at the end of the post? I don’t get it.
    Cathy recently posted..Flashback Friday – Stylin’

    • Amanda

      It’s basically a tiny newsfeed that’s on the side of the page. Wonder why you don’t have it yet? It’s almost exactly the same as if you would continuously refresh your news feed. That’s it. You hover over the activity and it expands, and you can see the whole thing and comment on it if you’re able to/want to.

      The meme is so stupid and even though I do have the stalker ticker, I don’t get the whole yo dawg part of it. WTH?

  • KLZ

    Yeah. In all seriousness, its not breaking privacy laws. I mean, all tweets are logged into the library of Congress, so…privacy wise Facebook is still low level.

    It’s a little creepy and annoying but I just….get this….don’t look at it and I feel way better.
    KLZ recently posted..How to Raise a Mama’s Boy

  • *applause* THANK YOU.

    Every time I see one of those ridiculous “hover over my name” posts I want to delete a friend, and that’s like killing kittens, only in Facebook speak.

    I did laugh and post the graphic though. It made me giggle, mostly because the backlash is just so ridiculous.
    Kallay recently posted..The Only Banana Bread Recipe You’ll Ever Need

  • BRAVO! Thanks girl for posting this. What is up with people. I like the ecard I saw about people getting upset about a free service. Seriously, if they have a problem with it, stop using it. My whole news feed was filled up with people bitching about the changes. Yesterday my news feed was filled with people posting about how they thought facebook was going to charge them. Ugh! People are so frustrating.
    Jayme (RandomBlogette) recently posted..#Pinterest Meal Plan – Week 1

  • Seriously! Does no one remember that everyone freaks out like this every time Facebook makes a change, and then we all get used to it and go about our business? Then freak out again when they make another change? I’m seeing way too much “I want my old Facebook back!” Get over it! Embrace change!

    • Amanda

      People see change on Facebook and just freak without getting used to it. They automatically think because it looks way different, it will function really differently. And people are so afraid of their information getting out that they believe all the rumors. It’s really sort of an interesting phenomenon from a communications perspective.

  • I’m still getting used to it and while I don’t like the blanketed privacy settings, the change isn’t enough to make me leave. One weird thing I noticed yesterday, when a photo is tagged it shows up on your wall (not new). If you try to remove it from your wall, it detags AND removes from your entire profile. Before you could remove any post regardless of whether it’s a photo, a friend posting, a link, etc. I’m one of those that likes my profile to be uncluttered. I’m not sure why they made that change.
    Hutch recently posted..Conference Realignment – So Long Big East

  • Robin | Farewell, Stranger

    Yep. I’m not so concerned about the privacy thing. I’ve never been terribly worried about privacy, whether it’s Facebook or anything else.

    The thing that bugs me about this change is that I feel like I’m not seeing things anymore. I usually adapt pretty quickly but I’m finding these changes annoying.

    Ah well. C’est la Facebook vie.
    Robin | Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Welcome to My World

    • Amanda

      I have been noticing that too. i noticed seeing a lot of one thing and then missing out on some of the others that I’m used to seeing. I’m wondering if they are basing it on the people you’ve most often interacted with or something??

      But at the end of the day? It’s just Facebook! It’s not a big deal!

  • Totally agree! I’m so sick of hearing everyone complain about it. I think the better thing to be worried about is what you put out there. I blog, I’m on facebook, I’m on twitter…but I’m very cautious of always being happy with what I write. I don’t let it all hang out…you know.

    I see people who post pictures of themselves half naked and drunk at a party. Or who go all ape-sh*t over something. Or who post thier most private conversations and feelings…and I think, someday this is going to bite you in the butt.
    Jaime recently posted..A New Outlook

    • Amanda

      Yeah, I totally agree! I feel like if you wouldn’t want a stranger to see/hear it, don’t post it!! I have a bunch of people on FB from high school and there are a couple who just bring the drama all the time. If you have something to say to somebody, tell them, don’t post a status update about it. Facebook has turned us all into 8th grade kids ;)

  • The Xibit (sp?) meme is a spoof on his old show on MTV, Pimp My Ride. If you remember that show (like I do) it’s totally funny and appropriate. Maybe it’s just me?
    But yes–3verything else in this post is spot on.
    sara recently posted..Sunday Night Art Show

  • I do think Facebook is trying to be more like Twitter with it’s ticker since it’s a real-time feed. However, I don’t *see* it when I log on.

    I kinda think that those of us who are heavy social media users are so desensitized by it all, that it doesn’t phase us like the rest of the world.
    liz recently posted..It’s a Good Thing She’s Cute

    • Amanda

      I think you’re right. It seems to be more of an issue with people who are unfamiliar with or new to social media and especially the FARMVILLE people (don’t get me started, FV people can GIT off my news feed.)

  • I must disagree.. the Xibit thing is pee-in-your-pants funny.
    Sarah recently posted..Kids Science Labs

  • I have been trying to tell people they are just blocking people they care about by passing that stupid status around. My issue was never about the privacy or look it was that when it first came out FB pages were being sent to the bottom and as someone that used FB for my blog this concerned me. It seems to be better now so whatever, I really want to see the new profile released!!!
    Danielle recently posted..When Life Handed Me a Broken Heart

  • Oh, come on… not even a little bit funny? (I admit, I laughed.) ;)

    I was confused on the ticker in relation to the privacy settings at first too, until someone (who wasn’t as nice as you) set me straight. Now I understand (and also feel like an ass).

    Otherwise, I’m actually liking most of the new changes. Even the ticker is growing on me, although I still find it annoyingly distracting.
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Guest Post: Are You Ready For Some Football?

    • Amanda

      A little bit funny now that Sara explained it to me. I’m a little slow sometimes.

      I like them too. there were times when I was bored or zoned out and would just click refresh to see new things…now I have the ticker to do that for me! It’s the same thing and people shouldn’t pretend like they don’t do that themselves. The same people who last week were all, “oh I’m going to go stalk such and such on Facebook today!” are complaining now about the ticker. It’s the same difference, people!

  • No, I’m sorry. That photo is hilarious. I do think Facebook could stop the bitching if they waited until the afternoon to make changes. But I also think it’s hilarious how people go crazy over a free service. And you’re right, if you’re concerned about your privacy, social media is so not for you.
    Julie @ mamamash recently posted..Monday Meals: Chicken Spaghetti

    • Amanda

      EXACTLY. FREE. That you don’t really NEED in the first place.

      I have to admit, after it was explained to me, the picture is really a lot funnier than I originally thought it was. It’s one of those jokes, though, that one person does and then suddenly everyone is sharing it and it’s not as funny the 15th time you see it.

  • I am getting used to it but then again as a blogger I am desensitized to some of this. I sort of like it now. And I got a giggle from that pic. Thanks for setting straight some confusion. Now if only those posted messages would stop!
    Brittany {Mommy Words} recently posted..Advice for Bloggers at a Trade Show

  • I agree with you 100%.

    My favorite today?

    Are the people who are JUST NOW up in arms about Facebook because they go on so rarely they’re finally discovering the changes. A week late.


    There are like WARS going on in the world people.
    julie gardner recently posted..Today call me rooted

  • OMG, Facebook DID steal my husband, but it didn’t kick my dog–it bitch slapped the poor thing!! OMG!! My life is terrible. Freaking a. I HATED all of the complaints last week about stupid Facebook. Seriously, if the worst part of your day was Facebook changing its settings, then that’s a pretty freaking awesome day.
    Daydream Believer recently posted..In the Land of WTF (Revisited).

  • I’ll admit it. When I first saw it it gave me a headache, but that is because (like you said) I didn’t have any coffee first.

    It’s a free service and I think most of the people who are complaining about it STILL, have a problem with change. Get over it already!
    Hopes@Staying Afloat! recently posted..The Blogging Bible for Newbies

  • Wait, Facebook is making changes? Why didn’t I hear about this. ;)

    I’m still trying to figure out why people who post information online think it’s private. I mean seriously, it’s the world wide web. Nothing secret or private about it.
    Jessica recently posted..What It Takes To Be A Blogger

  • Haha, I love this post! Facebook makes changes all the time, and I think it’s perfectly fine that they do – they’re a company and they’re constantly looking to improve, expand, grow their audience. And people bitch about it each time. Then they get used to it and forget what it was like.

    I was so pissed at the constant bitching I basically said as such in my status update, after I saw yet another person complaining about it. That person retaliated by writing in their status update how they can change what they like or don’t, but bitches can’t change how they’re bitches and ugly at that too. I deleted her, haha!

    Also, thanks for clearing that up – I was really annoyed to see people posting things like your example above. They don’t seem to realize that it’s the post they comment on that matters, not their comment itself. People should just remove themselves if they’re so concerned.

    Ok end rant. :)
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Standing Taller

  • So well stated. Heading to…where else…FB now to share. Thanks!
    Sue the Desperate Housemommy recently posted..Mom’s Peanut Butter Pie

  • This line? Made my whole effing night.

    Facebook stole your husband, kicked your dog and went on a cruise with your life savings.

    I’m kind of over Facebook. I blame my husband. He steadfastly refuses to join, and thus all his high school friends Facebook me and I become a messaging system for stupid high school jokes. He’s 6 years older than me and it kills me EVERY time not to write “I was not even in JR High when this happened, not funny.”
    StephanieinSuburbia recently posted..Two Years

  • Good point. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. I was only confused about the formatting, but I’m not on FB a lot anyway so it really doesn’t matter to me. I use it to keep up with friends. But I’ve always been careful about what I post.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..We Eat Books

  • Facebook makes changes all the time, so it doesn’t bother me anymore. What I did notice though is I’m not really seeing things like I used to. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know.

    I was on FB this weekend and everyone in my feed was complaining about the privacy thing. My reaction? “These people are obviously not bloggers or twitterholics like me. Get over it.” ;)
    Kimberly recently posted..VlogTalk: Award Winning Dreams

  • Jerrod

    Well said my friend.

    people be wack, yo.
    Jerrod recently posted..A Post Is A Post Is A Post

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