The recent trouble Facebook got into regarding privacy regulations has made me consider some generational attitudes that I feel will define Social Media moving forward … but I’ll get there.
Privacy has been an ongoing issue for Facebook. Since the release of the recent apps Timelines and Frictionless Sharing, users can now, with the opt-in setting, automatically share all of their activity on Facebook. Timelines turns a Facebook profile into a record of the user’s life, month-by-month, year-by-year as long as they live. Zuckerberg says this will be how people will want to “browse through time.”
The downside is that your friends can share your activity with other Facebook users. This means that if you don’t want everyone to know what music you are listening to, what books you are reading, or videos you’re watching, your best bet would be to just not use Facebook at all.
Let’s keep in mind that all this sharing, and in Facebooks’ mind, increased engagement, is targeted towards increased revenue. Brands want and need targeted data from their consumers. It may be Social, but it’s still all about the bottom-line.
This ease of video sharing has found some conflict with laws enacted in the 80s, back when folks were somewhat concerned with their privacy. Some of you may remember a Supreme Court nomination hearing where the video rental list of one of the nominees was released to the public. This created a national uproar regarding privacy. Netflix is currently in the middle of this issue and hasn’t, as of this writing, allowed Facebook to view Netflix users’ records in the U.S. Have no fear, I predict this bill will undoubtedly be amended by the House Judiciary Committee to allow more seamless sharing.
To get back to my point on generational differences, I remember our family moving from Texas to Pennsylvania when I was a kid and my dad, a native Texan, being amazed at the personal questions our neighbors would ask him. Seemingly innocuous questions like, “how much did you pay for your new car” he deemed as too intrusive. He just wrote it off with a statement like “these Yankees are way to nosey.”
The Facebook Generation is happy to share their innermost thinking and behaviors. I, on the other side of the Middle Ages, often wonder why anyone would care what I’m doing or liking. I was raised on those old western movies where the men were aloof, distant, reserved. You know – the strong silent type. You kept your feelings close to the chest so to speak. In my mind it does have its advantages. You can actually surprise people with insights into your personality from time-to-time. Instead of being an open book at all hours of the day.
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I’m sure this attitude also has some disadvantages too. It’s not all that bad to open up a little more about what makes us tick. Maybe this is what will lead to increased harmony and peace. I do hope for that.
Am I just way behind the times?
For the past five years Ted has worked in the internet marketing field as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analyst and content writer providing internet marketing analysis and traffic monitoring through Social Media Optimization (SMO) and branding activities. The Head of Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Monitoring and Analytics requires someone with a specialized thought process, which Ted brings to the team. He conducts extensive research to determine a social media measurement strategy based on client business objectives. His reports analyze massive amounts of data to show where views originate, how followers interact with your brand and what drives conversions.