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A Social Space in Facebook Times

A Social Space in Facebook Times The biased management of issues

The Facebook personal profile, even if it is accessible to a small number of people, is a public space, not a private one. Social networks have become a central part of everyday life. Facebook is the most used social network, likely the second site that people visit when starting or opening their laptop after google. Being a social network based in principle on the exchange of personal information, it is not surprising that many users reveal a great deal about themselves in their online profiles. With over 500 million users, Facebook decisions about privacy settings are able to influence many people. While its changes in this area have led to many media and society group criticisms, Facebook has apparently continued to attract more users to its service. This article examines some disadvantages of using the Facebook social network, but also the mistakes users make when choosing their privacy settings. We believe that although they are not universal, changes to privacy settings have led to a decrease in criticisms against Facebook. We also find that both the frequency and type of Facebook usage, as well as the Internet qualification, are correlated with the change in privacy settings. 

Public or private 

Is the Facebook network a public space in all situations, including when the Facebook profile is private and the audience is limited? When we send personal information to a person, we lose control of our privacy and confidentiality depends on the recipient and on Facebook policies with regard to transited information. Since Facebook is a public space (albeit a private domain), we have to assume that when we pass on information (for example, we post on our Facebook profile), it will be retransmitted to others (re-share). This is why it is important to convey only what we are comfortable reaching the ears of the general public.

Suppose you have been informed by Facebook about its privacy policy, and, valuing your privacy, you chose to set your profile to private and have just a list of friends that you know and with whom you want to share information about your personal life. Although, at first glance, everything seems right, as only your friends can see your posts and pictures, there is a risk that your privacy will be affected and the information will be sent to other people outside of your Facebook group. There are a number of common practices, such as profile screenshots, photos or posts, a foreign person's access to your profile by using a friend's Facebook profile on your list and so on.

So, posting on your Facebook profile is like talking to a community of people. A post on your private profile means sharing information to a small group of people (friends), but there is a risk that your information will get to other strangers, either interested or uninterested in your life and activities.

There are also people who have given up on their Facebook profile and this is not surprising. The frequency of changes to privacy settings is indicative of attitudes. 45% of former users said they did not change their settings in 2009, while 84% of them changed settings at least twice since 2010. The former users say they have disabled their Facebook account due to lack of experience in terms of privacy settings.

The connection between regularly posting content on Facebook and adjusting privacy settings highlights the interplay between privacy and content; privacy settings are especially useful to those who are sharing information so that they can manage who gets access to that information. As sociologists have long shown, managing social situations and navigating impression management require understanding one’s audience (Goffman, 1959). In a mediated environment where one’s audience is not easily understood, privacy settings can be used to control and manage one’s audience (Marwick and Boyd, in press). 

Goodie or baddie 

Updating statuses and posting information on our Facebook wall have become as natural for us as taking coffee in the morning or supermarket shopping. Facebook has its own disadvantages, however. Some of these disadvantages are:

1) Because of the Facebook network, everyone knows everything about you that you post - as soon as you become a Facebook user, you need to be aware that the information you post on your personal wall or those of your friends can be seen by anyone else;

2) Using Facebook is addictive – it is more than possible to become addicted to social networking, especially when you are a person who likes to share their opinions or new discoveries with others or someone who loves to express themselves freely and creatively. Facebook dependence and the 'Share' button can influence you negatively. You can spend too much time in front of your computer, you can lose your social skills and even your real-life friends and the superficiality of online interactions can affect the meaningfulness of social contact.

3) Time wasted – the amount of time spent on Facebook has long been analyzed and criticized as subtracting both from socially useful activities, as well as from work. Productivity losses are judged as significant. The nature of Facebook is that it also produces new information, rather than just mediating the transmission of what people choose to share. From new games to endless and fruitless discussions, Facebook is a significant time sink, especially if not moderated by common sense;

4) Facebook creates the illusion that you have many friends and that interactions with them make up meaningful relationships – being friends with a person who only comments on pictures, stories, articles, says << Happy Birthday! >> when the computer warns that it is someone's birthday etc. The internet is full of "illusory awards" still exist on the internet, and such relationships do not qualify for the achievement of friendship. These things destroy the value system that an individual should have and which he should rely upon when choosing who to trust;

5) Facebook as a social retardant – using Facebook and other social networking sites, you learn to grow in the online environment, where certain interactions are much easier. Because of this, many will have relational and etiquette problems or will be totally incapable of having a face-to-face discussion or speaking in public with more people. 


In conclusion, whether you have a public or private profile, your Facebook page is also a public space, as, as explained above, and there is the danger that your information may be shared with any audience, with no limitation.



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