Making the World
A Good Home for All
Even the Smallest Ripper Moves the Ocean
It Takes Only One to Make the Difference
All or Nothing?
Facebook: All or nothing
When it comes to using your social network,
there is no right and wrong, or black and white, and it cannot make you choose all or nothing.
I've used Facebook long enough to see it go through many changes.
-As its team puts it, "to improve your Facebook experience." Naturally, not everything it does will put a happy face on all its users.
There are some features from the older versions that I wish Facebook would have retained, but I'm still "cool" about the changes:
from the old interface to the new one, and later to an even newer and better one. I chuckle every time my friends invite me to join
pages, events, and even such causes as "If I can get one million people to join, Facebook will bring back the old page,"
"New Facebook sucks, bring back the old one!" or "Sign a petition to bring back the old Facebook."
The first is likely to be spam in disguise.
The second is "totally pointless," and "just for fun" -It checks out, this shows up in the fan page category!
The third one! Seriously? This is a "cause"???
All joking aside, how does one behave on Facebook now?
The whole social network idea is a contradiction within itself. What we have to remember is that it is an online
activity- not how we interact with each other in our daily routines. There are so many instances of interactions between
your and your friend's Facebook personae that would never happen between you and your cubical neighbor or your distant
cousin. In a real situation, would you have jumped into an on-going conversation between a stranger and her boyfriend?
When you are deep within a discussion among your friends in your native tongue, does an acquaintance from the pharmacy
on the other side of town quickly cut across the yard just to say to you and your friends, "In English, so I can know what your
discussion is about?" The bottom line is, that of all the friends you have on Facebook, less than half of them are -and ever
will be- your friends in reality. Chances are you will never, ever meet them.
It's good that Facebook brings people -who, otherwise, will never meet in real life- together. The idea is to connect,
connect, and connect. However, it wants us to connect so much that, if we are not careful, we can bare ourselves naked
in front of the whole Facebook world of 500 million plus people -and still growing- in one click, within seconds. -All you
have to do is lightly dab a pinky of your choice on an "Enter" key, and, there: you're global!
Some people, especially those
who network for their businesses, don't mind some small sacrifice to their personal privacy, yet there are a lot of Facebook
users who are dissatisfied. They, in turn, try to be on top of the game by protecting their privacy by cranking up the knob to
a certain level of tightness -using the privacy control options that Facebook generously allows. But who is really in control
of your privacy and personal information - you or Facebook? Its objective is to get you to share, and it will try to draw you
out from your hiding place by getting you through your friends' curiosity, and them through you. Why's that? Think again.
It needs to gather information so it can deliver the right kind of advertisement to you, in hopes that you will be interested
enough to make a purchase or two -by clicking on the ads on the right column- and, therefore enabling the completion of its
economic wheel. You buy from Facebook advertisers, these ad owners make money and can continue to pay Facebook to display
their ads, which allows Facebook to continue to maintain the big playground for us. Since we, the users, use Facebook without
paying any fees, it has to make sure it generates income somewhere in order to keep a big platform open for us to run around
making silly comments on people's videos by means of "socializing." Does this sound fair enough?
Some of us momentarily forget that everyone, even Mark Zuckerburg, has got to put bread on his table. -His loaf is
definitely more substantial than yours and mine and half of the people in the world combined, but the point is, we all
do the same thing. But when all we see is a nice wide screen with a blue border and the word "facebook," and lots of
friends to play with, we quickly forget why it's really there.
With that in mind, I'd like to talk a bit more about interesting Facebook behaviors. The extreme cases are those
people who -obviously- are so worried about their privacy, those who have some agenda other than "connecting with others,"
and have put the privacy control dead lock on "Only me." This makes them voyeurs who look on all their friends, but no
one can see or interact with them. Interesting, isn't it! Then there are some people who are still "green" to Facebook
and have yet to understand the way of using it that's not harmful (not to mention annoying) to their friends and themselves.
These new users will go everywhere and click on everything and drag their friends down with them if their friends are
somewhat naive and careless.
Whatever your agenda is for using Facebook, you have to remember that you are the user and not the usee. Facebook will
be beneficial if you use it wisely and thoughtfully. Use it, and don't let it use you more than it already has. But please
never forget that you are the person holding the controller within your proximity. There is no right and wrong, or black and
white, and it cannot make you choose "all or nothing." It will attempt relentlessly to sway you, but you are in control.
We are an American father who has lived many years in Thailand, a Thai mother who has lived many years in the United States,
and four children- the eldest born in America- who spent the first parts of their lives in Thailand and then moved to the USA.
This multiculturalism provides a unique perspective and affords each of us the opportunity to approach things from new directions.
We follow our hearts wherever they take us. We also believe in sharing. If another is enriched then so, too, are we,
for the betterment of one is the betterment of us all. We share our ideas, thoughts, knowledge and opinions with the hope
that others will find value in them, as well as in the hope that they will pay it forward to make the world a continually better place.