Do Your Facebook Friends Know Too Much?

Do you know what you are really sharing on Facebook?

Facebook seems to hold a special place is all of its users’ hearts. And I’m willing to bet most people have a love hate relationship with the social media site. We love the ability to stay connected with friends near and far. We loathe reading all of those whiny Facebook statuses and the hourly updates about where your friend is going or what they are doing. And many of the recent updates have turned us into unwilling stalkers.

Take, for instance, the new group feature. Now, when you post in a closed group (and I’m going to assume a secret group as well although I haven’t looked into it), you can see what members view your post and what time.  I noticed this the other day as I viewed a post by my soccer team captain about the field location and game time. Now, this does have its advantages. We then knew who saw the game information and were able to contact those who didn’t check Facebook. But did I really need to know that teammate A saw the post at 8am and that teammate B didn’t check for a post until 11am? Not really. And I felt a bit violated as then suddenly everyone knew what time I was on Facebook checking that page for that post at exactly 9:36am that morning. Don’t get me wrong, I can see a benefit. But it also makes me feel like a bit of a stalker…

Or how about the added timestamps in Facebook chat that notify you as to what time you sent your message and what exact minute your Facebook friend viewed your message? I haven’t quite found a purpose to this feature other than for you to make assumptions as to how focused your Facebook friend is on you and your conversation. When they view your message right away you feel like they were waiting for you to send it. But, if it takes them a few minutes to view your message, you’re left wondering what they could possibly be doing that is more important than talking to you. So it seems to be a feature that could cause more problems in Facebook friendships then whatever its real purpose may be.

It turns out that now every time you “like” a picture or a company’s status, etc.,
these things then get broadcast to all of your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds.

The newsfeed is a feature of Facebook that has been drastically changed a few times, usually with a negative response from the users. But Facebook sticks to their guns and eventually everyone adjusts and goes on their merry way. But lately, my newsfeed has seemed to house a much larger quantity of pictures and quotes than of statuses and things I actually care about. It turns out that now every time you “like” a picture or a company’s status, etc., these things then get broadcast to all of your Facebook friends’ newsfeeds. Great. Now, every silly picture you like will be announced to ALL of your friends. So that picture of a political bumper sticker that your friend posted and you liked? Now all of your Facebook friends know where you stand on that issue, regardless of whether or not you have ever said a word about which party you favor or what belief you hold. Not only do you now need to be careful about what you “like” as it all gets broadcast over the loud speaker, but now your newsfeed is full of a ton of things you probably don’t care about.

And, if you watched the news about a month or so ago, it was broadcast that Facebook changed your displayed email on your About page to your Facebook email. Whoa, Facebook, WHAT?! I didn’t even know I had one of those emails! And I still don’t know how to access that email account, although I haven’t really tried. But, nonetheless, my Facebook email was suddenly displayed publicly as a way for people to contact me. I’ve never had my email displayed, so not only was my email address changed in my contact section, but it was suddenly displayed as well. So, unless you’re one of the few who actually uses your Facebook email address, you should double check that if you DO want an email address displayed, it is one you actually use. And I wouldn’t recommend an important email address, depending on how you run your Facebook page, as you may get more emails than you bargain for.

So Facebook, I’m sure there will be more changes. I am 100% positive there have been many other small stalkerish (yes, I have deemed that a real word) changes to Facebook recently and more to come.  Have you noticed anything different about Facebook that you love, hate, or love to hate?