Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Discretion and TMPI

After much cajoling by my daughter, I got a Facebook page a couple months ago. At first it was fun and I reasoned that my motivation for getting it was to stay in contact with old classmates from high school. Now it has become a nuisance. I think folks on Facebook tend to post waaayyy too much stuff. Who needs a play-by-play of someone else's every waking hour?

I have heard that one has to be careful with what one posts on Facebook, blogs, etc. TMPI (Too Much Personal Information) is not a good thing. Teens tend not to think about what they post and end up getting in trouble for posting too much information. There have even been people whom one would think would know better (teachers, law enforcement personnel, etc.) who have posted too much information (explicit photos, etc.).

Pardon my soapbox, but whatever happened to face-to-face "social networking"? We have become a cyber society that only makes personal connections over the Internet! Okay, I'll get off the soapbox now.

With all that said, one of the biggest disadvantages to the social networking sites is that one has to remember to practice discretion. Personal information, photos, etc. that was once safe in the hands of a friend, is now available to a global network in a matter of minutes. Rule of thumb is, "If you don't want your Grandma seeing it, don't post it." The same goes with email. A slip of the finger can send your complaints about your boss throughout the entire corporation.

Every new communication device - cell phone, computer, Blackberry, etc. - ought to come with a book on cyber etiquette. The first rule of cyber etiquette should be "TMPI is not a good thing. Squash the personal need to make your life an open book."

It's almost like sitting in your car at the stoplight when a boom box on wheels pulls up two cars behind you and your windows start vibrating from the thundering bass. Not everyone needs to be driven into bass-induced deafness. By the same token, not everyone needs the gory details of how loud your newborn pooped, or how much money you spent on remodeling your home, or how many dance performances your daughter was in last month. If you feel the need to share, share with those who will rejoice in those details with you. The rest of us could care less. That may seem harsh, but TMPI is not always a good thing.

Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

Caz said...

I also totally agree with the whole Facebook thing. I was on Facebook and that's how I made contact with a school friend I had lost touch with years ago, however, I too found it irritating to hear about everyone's waking minute!!!! Face to face is a much better option!