Can having too many friends on Facebook threaten our lives?

Most of us have over five hundred so-called ‘friends’ on Facebook, some of which we don’t even know or probably even talk to, some of which we have met once, or known a long time ago. The obvious question that comes to mind is do we in fact really need to have all these people on our ‘friends’ list?

Preferably not. As most of us tend to post pictures and updates of our daily lives, this can easily become a major threat to our privacy leading to various problems. This easily happens since the facebook network is able to trace your actions. If you simply update your status as “Out of town for the weekend!”, it is a perfect opportunity for someone waiting for your household to be empty in order to raid it for example.

Also, having an overload of ‘friends’ on facebook, some of which you don’t even communicate with is not healthy, as you know that these people are able to view your profile and pictures and maybe save and use your pictures for other purposes.

An interesting article that caught my attention while browsing through the gulf news website that concerned this subject in a way would be the “Trim Your Friend Fat on November 17” article.  In this piece of writing, they referred to getting rid of your facebook friends as though it were a breaking up process with these people.

“Friend Fat” according to this article would refer to people you knew since your childhood but haven’t interacted or talked to in a long period of time, and also those people which add you making you assume that you have met them beforehand, or those people that you have met once in your life and never saw again.

So, for everyone’s own benefit, we should all open up our eyes and get rid of those random people that you do not personally know that well.



The Age of Radical Transparency

The term radical transparency was originally used to refer to corporations and was a management approach in which (ideally) all decision making is carried out publicly. It is now being applied to the Internet.

Behind Facebook’s element of confession is radical transparency. Mark Zuckerburg, inventor of Facebook suggests, “more transparency should make for a more tolerant society in which people eventually accept that everybody sometimes does bad or embarrassing things.” Facebook and other social networking sites have made it the norm in society to open up online or be an outsider. We are moving towards an even more open society with millions of people signing up for Facebook and other social media accounts and sharing photos and personal information online for anyone to see.

The problem with this notion of radical transparency as Dr. Strangelove states, “is that we’re involved in it and corporations are not,” thus, “moving society into an unequal future, where the powerful are becoming increasingly opaque to us.” As the rich and powerful hide behind privacy policies and laws, average people are sharing more and more about themselves; becoming radically transparent online. Thus, giving corporations the ability to profile us based on insight into our lives. This is only making corporations and those in power all the more powerful over the average human being.

David Brin phrases the threat of radical transparency perfectly in his book, The Transparent Society, when he says,”sacrificing anonymity may be the next generation’s price for keeping precious liberty, as prior generations paid in blood.”

By: Nicole Johns