In the past few days there have been numerous postings and articles in presumptive serious magazines and tech blogs that claim if you are posting a photo of what you looked like ten years ago, and what you look like today, it will make you vulnerable when it comes to what Facebook knows about you. It’s not any more dangerous than what Facebook already knows about you. And they know a LOT! Let me show you exactly how much.
There are two types of status postings you can just ignore, even if they try to tell you that you are a bad person for not sharing them.
I bet 5 of my friends won’t…
I’m sure you’ve seen these lots of times. One of your friends has copied the text of a status update from someone else and pasted it. They are usually about cancer or depression. After a long text describing the illness you get this at the bottom:
“I’m going to make a bet, without being pessimistic, that out of my Facebook friends that less than 5 will take the time to put this on their wall to help raise awareness of and for those who have [insert illness here]. You just have to copy it from my wall and paste it to yours ”
So, not only content with shouting out that “hey, look what good person I am for doing this,” they also prey upon the conscience of their friends. I mean, who wants to appear to be a bad person not caring about the suffering of others, right?
Wrong! The next time someone post this, just ignore it. You are doing the world (and your newsfeed) a service. And you are a better person than the one who tried to guilt you into sharing.
The only thing you are telling the world by posting it is that not only are you a person who thinks posting a status update about an illness will help fight it. If you really want to make a difference for people with [insert illness here] donate money to organisations working with said infliction. Or volunteer for these organisations. If you want to post and brag about it, that’s fine. But do it without telling everybody how great you are and how awful they are for not doing it.
Actually, posting something like this is the least effective way to fight cancer, depression or what have you. Stop it!
I want to teach my students how fast a photo spreads
I’m sure you’ve seen this one a lot, especially lately. A well meaning teacher says she wants to teach the kids of her class how fast a photo is spread on the internet. So they post a photo of a sign with this message, and tell everyone to share it. And since you think it’s important that the kids learn how to be careful on the internet, you do just that. DON’T!
First of all, this meme has been going on for over 8 years now (and a lot of times the poster is fake and it’s just someone having fun, and not a teacher). There are hundred teachers who have done it, so there’s no need to do it anymore. We know how fast a photo can spread.
My suggestion is this: Instead of posting your own meme, teach your kids how to google it. They can then use google, find the articles telling how fast a photo spreads, and then learn that they should be careful with photos on the internet. They also learn that they don’t need to spam others with things like this.
Another reason why you shouldn’t spam the newsfeed of your friends with this is that this has been done so much now that people are tired of it. It’s become spam! So most people have started to ignore it. So the more who post these, the more they will be ignored, and then you teach the children that photos are NOT spread as fast as their teacher claims.
So stop sharing these photos as well.
Now, if someone could just teach the parents about being careful with photos on the internet, we might get somewhere…