Last month I reluctantly agreed to join Facebook to keep up with certain people who “meet” there… (yep, I’m still an old fashioned email user) and what struck me as worrying was the availability of people’s information in that environment. Through the people that I knew I could see many others, their photos and their “fun”. Some photos I really didn’t want to see!
Because people upload your photo and then ‘tag’ it you immediately become trace-able. There doesn’t seem to be any privacy at all. Some students told me a story about a friend of theirs who missed out on a place at University as the final step was interview and the interviewers had been into Facebook and downloaded photos of this person drunk at a party… I’ve heard other stories about employers doing similar things. So, although we all do silly things, Facebook and MySpace have made it public and accessible.
I’ve added a YouTube link on the Blog today, it’s from a show here in Canada called This hour has 22 Minutes. It portrays the risks in being on Facebook, MySpace and so on…
So even though I am PRO using technology as OT practitioners and in Higher Education, I believe that it is also up to us to stay very aware of the risks and only recommend using Social Networks like these when there are sufficient guards in place to protect the individual.