I have known my best friend for over 35 years and we phone each other regularly. He has recently been wrestling with a lot of the same issues that eventually resulted in my arrival here, and I referred him to Laura's articles on SOTT.
We talked again yesterday and he mentioned that he had found the articles and the one he read interested him greatly. However, he told me, before finding the articles he blundered onto Laura's Facebook page and, thinking that was the required path to the articles, signed up. Incredible to him were the number of people who, apparently, wanted to be his "friend" (however that works. I don't know how Facebook works and neither did he). Even more incredible was the fact that he hadn't been in any sort of contact with many of them for a good number of years and had not been particularly friendly with most of them when they had, for various reasons, interacted.
"How is it," he asked me, "that all these people I didn't know all that well are suddenly there, wanting to be friends?"
I had no answer as the only Facebook doings I've had was to sign up to watch some video quite a while ago. I quickly regretted registering and unsubscribed from their email list. However, I periodically I get another email saying that someone or other that I don't know inexplicably wants to be my "friend", and I again unsubscribe.
I recount this not as any criticism of Laura or her Facebook page, Facebook or social media in general. Social media is a tool and, as such, can be well or poorly used. By registering on such a site, I voluntarily relinquished a fairly large degree of privacy for no good reason, as I have nothing to teach or sell and nothing to learn from a perfect stranger allegedly wanting to befriend me. What is clear to me from the small amount of MSM I watch and the few people with whom I speak is that there are a lot of people not concerned with privacy who spend a great deal of time discussing inanities with people they barely know.
From a November, 2011, Huffington Post article citing Pew Internet and American Life Project data:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/19/the-average-facebook-user_n_1102902.html
For example: the average age of a Facebook user rose from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010; users have 229 friends each, on average; and the average user has never met 7 percent of his or her friends, according to Pew.
7 percent. The average Facebook user is sharing God-knows-what-all information with 16 friends they've never met. I suspect that if one of those 16 turns out to be a predator of the nature we're all trying to learn about here, Mr. or Ms. Average Facebook User will wish a little more care had been taken on the old privacy front.
There are predators whose designs on us are less ghastly than those who would hit us over the head and chop us up at their leisure, of course. Carelessly flitting about social media invites advertisers happy to waste you time and who can learn how to do it here:http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2066809/How-to-Target-Affluent-Facebook-Users
Some of the bad actors wanting to follow your computer home from fun-time with friends are described here:http://anti-virus-software-review.toptenreviews.com/malware-that-targets-facebook-users.html
So anyway, who are
all these friendly strangers? I don't want to know. They are not getting their hooks into the small amount of privacy I still possess.