Is Privacy Really the Best Policy for Facebook?


Do you remember the good ol’ days freshman year? Sitting nervously in front of your laptop on a Sunday morning, awaiting the moment your friends would post the infamous pictures from the weekend? Then, it happens. At around noon, after a long breakfast spent reminiscing in the cafeteria Facebook explodes with album after album of weekend adventures. You spend hours laughing at your screen with your roommates: Who is that rando taking shots with us? You did a keg stand this weekend? Oh, so that’s where we got the blow-up doll!

Back in the day, Sunday mornings (or the entire day…) were dedicated to reflecting on the moments captured from the night before via Facebook. I know I used to love those days, when you found out you weren’t the only one running around campus having a good time….er….looking like a hot mess.

But fast forward three years when everyone and their your mother is watching what you decide to post on Facebook. You can’t just post everything you want anymore with reckless abandon; you’ve got your future to think about, and the judgment of your entire extended family (who are all now your FB friends), and the fact that Facebook is changing their privacy settings so often, you have no idea who can see your latest drunken exploits. So you start thinking before you post, de-tagging unflattering (from a professional perspective) photos, and deleting anything remotely inappropriate (“Let’s get crunk tonight!”)  from your Wall.

And everyone else is doing the same. A recent study at the University of California Berkeley found that young adults are becoming way more private than they were five years ago. A once tell-all generation is becoming more and more weary about what they’re posting, unsure of how publishing their personal lives in a public space will affect them and their futures. Which explains all of those recently hidden tagged pictures, absent funny drunken wall-posts, and lack o’ profile pictures of dudes wearing mesh green thongs…

Basically, all the good stuff. The reason I have a Facebook profile in the first place.
The stuff that I look forward to when I turn on my computer every Sunday morning.

While I understand it is way smarter to be a little hush-hush about your extracurricular drinking activities in public to land that perfect job and protect yourself from severe embarrassment, I’m a little disappointed.  Everyone’s new-found (super incognito) Facebook life is just not so great for the rest of us, bored in class with nothing to preoccupy us! I want the entertainment value! I want looking at new photo albums to be fun again! I want to point and laugh and snort!

Yes, we’re all going to grow up someday, but tell me – can’t grown ups still go to theme parties and post pictures for everyone to enjoy?

College Q&A: Is It Too Late To Get an Internship?
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