Monday, May 17, 2010

Facebook and Privacy

There's much discussion these days about Facebook and privacy.

News Flash: If you're reading this, you're online, and you've already given up your privacy.

Okay... lets move on to a more interesting topic.

Not ready yet? Of course not. Because people love to discuss their privacy concerns in completely non-private forums. If you're concerned about privacy why would you ever, in a million bazillion gazillion years, interact with something called the WORLD WIDE web? Why would you ever have made that decision?

Look, here's the deal, you gave up privacy when you got an email. Wait, when you got a cell phone. Wait, it was when you got a landline. Wait, it was when you bought a house. Wait, it was when you got a driver's license. Wait, it was when you got a birth certificate. Regardless of when it was, that ship has sailed. Let it go. Stop worrying about it. What are you doing that you need so much privacy for, anyway?

News Flash Deux: You do not have to be on Facebook. If you really believe it's the devil just deactivate your account, have it deleted, and move on down the digital highway. Actually, you'll need to shut off your computer and never connect to the internet again. Absolutely no wireless signal. You also need to get rid of your cell phone. No more ordering from Amazon and no more using GPS.

If you need this much privacy, I'd suggest you stake out a small cabin in the wilderness somewhere and work on your manifesto. You'll need to do that off the grid, of course, because you can't have privacy and have electricity, gas service, cable television, a credit card, health insurance, social security, a phone, or a few thousand other things most of us think are pretty nifty. Of course, if privacy is this much of a concern, you certainly won't want any medical care, anyway, so I guess health insurance is not an issue. Please, no magazine subscriptions or checking accounts.

But one of the fabulous things about living in the United States is that you have the free will to have all the privacy you want. But lets not pretend you're that concerned about it when you're zapping emails hither and yon every day, chatting on your cell phone and - heaven forbid - using a garage door opener that has a radio signal in it that could be picked up by... well... by... gosh... who knows... maybe the guy down the street. But, not to worry, he's probably absorbed in Facebook and won't notice. See how Facebook just protected your privacy?

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