Don’t let today’s technology control you
It’s no secret that I am a fan of Facebook.
It should be no surprise that I like it. I am a 30-something, stay-at-home mother, and I work from home part-time, freelance.
And it is a lonely life. Activities with babies last one or two hours, then it’s you and the baby or toddler, toys with bells and blocks.
When times get tough, I turn to documentaries or The Wiggles. But at sleep times, there was Facebook.
Facebook has been a window to my old life and a way of maintaining contact with former colleagues, old friends and some politicians.
Without it, I’m certain I would have either gone back to work just for the social interaction. I know many women who returned to work not because of the money, but because they needed to talk about anything that wasn’t their baby.
Worse yet, I may have suffered post-natal depression from the lack of adult contact.
But Facebook has given me a way of staying in touch. I love looking at everyone’s children and how they’re growing up. I love seeing my friends grow older and turn around and deny it’s happening to me too.
While I love Facebook, I’m aware of how it can be abused. There are the social crimes of status updates being used to have fights with boyfriends, or Christians asking us to post anti-homosexual content.
There’s a sort of a hijacking that goes on. One high-profile, political “friend” has been tagged in pictures, which are basically advertisements for extreme causes, because she has a good reputation and a large number of “friends”.
I find it ironic that the last time she was used like this, it was by an Aboriginal group. They would cry foul if an image of theirs was exploited, particularly if the image was of deceased kin.
I had a similar problem with photos of my daughter being tagged with names of people I didn’t know. I had the privacy settings of photos set to “friends only”. But if they’re tagged with the name of a person who has their privacy setting to “everyone” that image is out there.
When Bundaberg girl Trinity Bates was murdered by a person her parents befriended on Facebook, I took all the images of my daughter down. Sad for friends and family who want to see her grow up, but its the only way to keep her safe.
While I would never put up a “tribute” page myself, I understand that some people want to create a page to remember their loved ones. It’s not unlike the crosses we see at the site of fatal accidents.
What I don’t understand are people who find it necessary to make nasty or profane comments about the deceased person. One psychologist calls it emotional terrorism. I call it mean and nasty.
Identity theft continues to worry me. My grandmother used to shred all her correspondence, a carry over from WWII when everyone worried about spies finding out where our troops were.
Since watching her do this when I was 18, I’ve made a habit of shredding my identifying mail and burning it. Since I got the compost heap, I shred it and mix it in with manure and egg shells.
In the same way, I don’t publish my birthday or address in the information section of my Facebook page. Even though removing this information upset a few people who missed my last year.
But that information is available on the electoral roll - a public document available to us all. Maybe it’s not as threatening when it’s in hard copy?
So as much as I love Facebook, and I love the access it gives me to my friends and former colleagues, I am wary of it.
I always remember the wise words of a man who developed nuclear technology for use in medicine: use technology, but don’t let technology use you.
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