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Over Exposed on Facebook: The Dangers of Social Network Sharing

Written by Evelyn Ortiz  |  03. November 2011

Facebook is a social media network that is quickly taking over the internet and expanding their network of users.  Facebook connects friends, mutual friends, family, co-workers, lurkers, and everyone in between – whether you know it or not.  People are under surveillance constantly - subconsciously/consciously their lives are being broadcasted for the entire world to see.  How much information can you post on your wall and share with the Facebook world without hindering your own self protection?  What pictures can you post without portraying yourself unfit for a career to possible recruiters who may come across your page when deciding your candidacy?

A woman from Holtsville was perplexed when she saw a young man coming towards her as she was approaching her car in the garage to leave for work.  She was punched on the side of her head so hard she said she “saw stars”.  He then proceeded to rape her.  He is seen as a “sexual predator” and it may be possible that he was responsible for other sex crimes in the area.  Those five minutes of her being raped “seemed like forever” and she screamed for him to stop.  The woman tried any tactic to get him to stop, she faked an asthma attack and said she was in need of her inhaler however he didn’t stop nor did he care.  This woman who is a school teacher said that her and other colleagues had gotten Facebook requests from an unknown person.  It has not yet been confirmed if the rapist was that unknown person.  Her husband who is also a teacher did tell other teachers that he would be away visiting family in Florida.

A woman in Albany had her home burglarized in March of 2010 by someone she claims she added on Facebook.  The entire burglary was caught on tape.  Two men broke into her home at 8:42pm and that night her and her fiancé were off to see a scheduled concert at 8pm which she had posted on Facebook.  The couple has been trying to sell their home so the woman had posted many images of the high priced items that were in the home.  The thieves stole a television off the wall, a PlayStation, Xbox, laptop computer and DVDs.  The man added her and her sister about 6 months before the attack - enabling him to view her profile page and anything she would post on her wall.  Keri McMullen took the images of the suspects and asked people if they could identify the men, she then realized one of them befriended her. “I`ll never put that I`m not going to be home again online,” and “Just because you have someone on your Facebook doesn’t mean they`re trustworthy.  I am going to be weeding out my friends.” – Those are the comments the woman left off with. 

Facebook is a social media network connecting people whom you may not always want to be connected with.  The husband who said he would be away visiting family did not necessarily realize that he was opening that door of opportunity by sharing his personal information.  His wife would be alone and defenseless, and people sometimes take advantage of that.  Keri, the woman that publicized the expensive personal possession in her home and the fact that they would be left unattended at a specific time definitely opened the window of opportunity of burglary. Having images of her home publicized on Facebook lured the suspects in, and proved to be too much for an opportunistic thief to pass up.

People chronicle their lives obsessively, and even with the safety and privacy settings that are offered on Facebook, the creeps are still able to creep into your backyard so to speak if you are not careful.  Your page is an open channel generally; new friend requests can be pursued through lurkers and people seeking an opportunity to peer into your life.  People then think they know you - but do they really?  Details are embellished and people can present things in any way they wish, truthful or not.  How can you know if the things said, done, and shown on your internet profile portray the real person that you really are in an accurate manner?  No one truly knows the real validity of internet claims unless they have ties with an individual outside the social network pages.  Employers and recruiters sway over hiring decisions based on what they can uncover online about a person, sifting through online information about potential job candidates has become a standard practice in the digital era.  Photos posted of you with a beer in your hand, or a photograph of yourself in revealing clothing can seriously hinder a job opportunity.  “In 2009, CareerBuilder found that 45 percent of employers now include a review of social networking sites in the job screening process – a 23 percent increase over 2008.” Thirty five percent of reviewers acknowledged that they have torpedoes a job applicant because of something negative they have found online.  On the flip side, 18 percent said they gave a candidate a job because of something positive that came to their attention of a social media site.  We live in a more public world than ever before, and an online reputation is another thing we must be able to manage along with work history, resumes, recommendations and appearance in order to achieve success.

I believe that not everything should be shared online with the world; some things should be kept private.  That is what makes a person an individual- our own personal little secrets, experiences, desires, and inner most thoughts.  What is life without some type of individualism?  Not every moment of your life has to be announced, and quite frankly most people don’t care, some do, and others will judge or take advantage of this information being posted on your wall.  As Facebook expands and grows, the network of people expands, and exposure increases. Privacy and securities settings aren’t always enough if lurkers are already within your network.  Facebook is also a media of advantage to stay connected with those you love, acquaintances, colleagues and coworkers however sometimes we ourselves expose too much within these online medias.

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This Article was Written by Evelyn Ortiz.

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