Just a few moments ago, again, I saw a familiar update in my Facebook timeline. In read:
“Facebook is now a publicly traded company!!!! That means anyone on the internet can use any of your status updates or photos without your permission!!! Blargh!!! You do not have my permission to invade my privacy, internet!!!!1”
Right. Then I clicked “block user.”
This sort of thing pops up pretty frequently, every time people get a whiff of some change on Facebook, but now that Facebook is on the stock market, it adds a new, scary element to the whole crazy idea that someone’s going to steal your identity…via Facebook.
And since this is so inane that it just has to stop, I’m going to clear this up right now.
If You’re So Obsessed With Privacy…
People who are overly concerned about their privacy being invaded via Facebook are missing a crucial piece of the puzzle, which is:
Facebook is part of the internet.
The internet, if you don’t know, is a vast connection of computers and programs, used to share information and hilarious people fails. Facebook is a part of the internet. Therefore, if you are so dang concerned about your privacy, you guessed it…
…get off of Facebook.
It has nothing to do with Facebook being a public company now. And telling the internet that it doesn’t have permission to plagiarize your work or steal your photos is like defending yourself against a laughing, burly-chested pirate…with a rabbit’s foot. Does a good luck charm actually bring you good luck? No more than some feeble legal jargon brings you any shred of privacy. Read this if you doubt me.
This of course leads us to the second impossible-to-miss fact:
No One Wants to Steal Your Facebook Profile
Your Facebook profile is not that interesting. It’s probably full of poorly composed photos of you and your friends, cramming your bodies together while giving thumbs up, just like mine. Your statuses are probably skim-worthy at best, like mine. If someone started stealing your pictures or posts and was pretending to be you, it would probably be the biggest compliment you will ever receive.
Guess what. Identity thieves aren’t interested in hijacking hipsters’ Facebook accounts and stealing their ironic status updates so they can pretend that they are clever and witty (which is what most hipsters are pretending to be). Identity thieves are interested in your money. So unless I am posting Instagrams of my bank account and credit card statements to my profile, I probably couldn’t bribe anyone to steal anything off my crappy Facebook profile.
While we’re at it…
Privacy Is Overrated
Privacy is an idiotic cliche.
We’re drunk on asserting our privacy, like a bunch of two-year-olds asserting their “independence.” But we insist on posting asinine details of our life on every social media outlet we can find. It is amazing how much privacy we willingly give up…while whining about how our privacy is constantly being invaded. We are in control of how much privacy we have, not Facebook, not Twitter. If you want privacy, join Google+…or Foursquare…or go back to your old MySpace account. No one will bother you there.
You know why privacy is overrated? Because it’s usually a cover. People like to have a lot of privacy when they’ve got something to hide. Small town people know what it’s like to actually know your neighbors. Someone starts acting a fool, and word gets around. Not so much privacy, is there? We use the “right to privacy” (which isn’t even a Constitutional right) to justify all kinds of seedy behavior.
Wouldn’t it be better if we acted like we didn’t have any privacy?
What’cha think? Is privacy overrated? Or is Facebook just another arm of Big Brother? And this is a safe place. You can admit if you have posted one of those “don’t steal from me” status updates.