For millions of people all over the world, Facebook has become an integral part of life. Facebook has become a widely accepted means of communication. It is a never-ending virtual social gathering filled with adopted puppies, baby announcements, political views, viral articles and videos, events, groups, organizations and fan pages. I recently read an article entitled, “Why do people use Facebook? ” that suggests this social networking site meets two primary human needs: (1) the need to belong, and (2) the need for self-presentation.
The article also acknowledges demographic and cultural factors as they relate to the belonging need, and the variation of personality types on Facebook usage. My fascination with Facebook is mainly as a way of staying in communication with friends and family, most of whom are thousands of miles away. As a stay-at-home military spouse currently stationed in a rather remote base in Alaska, being able to maintain a constant relationship with those so far away is a crucial part of my everyday life here in the tundra. My Facebook page was actually created about four years ago, but has become more of a daily routine over the past two.
Since its inception, I have personalized my page by adding and updating my basic information, contact information, work and education, likes and interests, and more. Once I initially personalized my Facebook profile, I set out on a search to find childhood friends and currently have 20+ friends on my page that I went to elementary and middle school with. I did this by performing a basic name search as well as finding childhood friends from the Facebook profiles of other friends. In addition to looking for childhood friends, I also performed a Facebook generated e-mail and name search for those I was in current contact with (i. . co-workers, current friends, fellow military spouses, family members, and more). I have also created and managed numerous photo albums to my Facebook page, uploading hundreds of photos to these albums as well as dozens of home videos. During the past two years, I have also posted thousands of comments on my personal wall as well as posts to the walls of my Facebook friends. During the initial stages of having my Facebook page, the least of my concerns was that of privacy. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until having my Facebook page for more than a year that I actually went into the privacy setting to check out my options.
The reasoning behind this was the need to block someone from my Facebook page, no longer wanting them to have any access to my Facebook page, posts and updates. This prompted me to completely change my profile settings to what they are today. I have set my profile to “private” with the option that only “friends” can view my photos, status updates, wall posts and applications, thus preventing anyone who is not personally my Facebook friend from seeing any information about me, including those who are friends of my friends.
Until recently, I have never encountered issues, privacy or otherwise, related to my presence on Facebook. Over the past year, however, Facebook has made numerous and sometimes drastic changes to the way Facebook is viewed and operated, thus causing myself and many others confusing and angst when using this site. I have also noticed that with each change Facebook makes, it seems to reset some, if not all, privacy settings causing me to once again go in and make sure all such settings are set to my personal privacy standards.
This is completely frustrating and has made me extremely cautious as to the reasoning behind their motives for change. I have also had an attempted hack of my profile, causing me to change my password just a little over two months ago. I am not exactly sure how I envision the use of Facebook in the future. I imagine I will continue to use it as an avenue to remain in close contact with those I know and love and do not have the ability to have physical contact with. I also intend to continue to use it as a way to endorse my home business as it has already proven to be an excellent avenue for marketing thus far. END