Mirrors on our Facebook Walls
Mirror, Mirror on my virtual wall, who’s the fairest one of all?
Facebook has launched creepy new tools for social networking, new apps, and new ways for anonymous entities and corporations to mine data. Basically, this allows Facebook to work as a portal to your privacy through direct routes and routes unknown. It’s worse than a virus, because at least you have to come into direct contact with a virus. This is more like air-born herpes.
Currently, when you open your FB page, someone might invite you to join an application. When you select the application, you are asked to accept the sharing of your information. You can say NO.
This is now different. Your new default for application settings is to share information. You have to select: Account, Privacy settings, Applications and Websites, then scroll down to the last setting, and click on the box to deselect, “Instant Personalization” which shares your information with select (interpret to mean ‘paid’) partners. But don’t stop there. Even the applications that you use, or your friends’ use, can be portals for data mining. You need to block them.
This should make us all walk away from the website.
…I should close my FB right now… But my friends are on there…. If I close it, then what? …. Face Book, I’ve been trying to quit you!
I think we stay because at 8:00 we have to harvest daffodils, horse hair and collect milktonium from our cyber cows. We can escape to a place where things stay green, little doves fly and we have dominion over a land where no weed dares to grow. It could also be the updates, or the way updates form a virtual neighborhood. That might be true, but the new face is more insidious.
Facebook works on a similar principle as the mirror in Snow White. For example, when the evil Stepmother looks into the mirror and asks, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?” she gets instant confirmation of her beauty, at least until Snow White shows up. On Facebook, if someone disagrees with you, you just unfriend them or block their comments. It’s like looking at a mirror that only reflects what you want to see. Snow White is simply not allowed unless you invite her to stay.
You’re always the fairest on Facebook. In this way, everyone agrees to your politics, your values and your news. The viewer gets all the ego stroking of the magical mirror, but there is more. Since you select friends, and they select friends, your FB experience is not your neighbors FB. This mirror becomes more like The Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter. In this mirror, you see yourself in your shining, virtual robes, and so do they. Everyone gets their personal ‘feed’. It’s a bit maniacal, which might be why it is so addictive. If that was all it did, it would be fine. Who doesn’t need an ego stroke after a long day. However, this mirror, mirror on the wall works in ways the Step-mother, or Harry Potter never dreamed.
Now all a person’s photos, posts, family members, news-feeds, reads, and the constellation of their friends’ information, can be data mined. Facebook, in this new incarnation becomes a two-way mirror where anonymous, unlimited corporations can view your every whimper, celebration or non-thought. If you feel like someone is watching you, they are. And they are in it to make a profit.
If you want to stay on FB, quit the games, programs, and change your privacy settings and if you do nothing else, BLOCK or de-select the Instant Personalization!