At last count, there were approximately 2.23 billion Facebook users globally. Considering that the world’s population is just over 7.6 billion, that means that just under 30 per cent are represented on the iconic social media site.
Facebook represents a unique opportunity for authors like me to interact with our readers, but for most people it is primarily a way to keep up with old friends, movie stars, and athletes. After attending my high school reunion in 2012 and becoming reacquainted with many of my old classmates, Facebook has become the main vehicle with which I can stay in touch with them.
“The Facebook,” as it was originally titled, has its drawbacks for sure. We are encouraged by those in charge to “friend” people, and to “follow” others. I heard a comedy routine recently in which the comic said he “unfriended” someone, then sent that individual a “friend request” (which was accepted, of course) just so he could “unfriend” the person again. We need to be careful with what we make “public,” because public means just that. Even if we only share pictures or information with our “friends,” there is nothing to prevent them from “re-sharing” (my phrase) the pictures or information with total strangers.
In April of this year, 87 million of those Facebook customers had their security breached. This led to a re-examination of the privacy settings by most Facebook users, yours truly included. We were cautioned to be extra careful about what we uploaded to our account, and that level of awareness spread like wildfire among the other social media giants like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, just to mention a few.
In a response to this crisis, I have taken extra care in protecting the identities of those individuals featured in my Facebook and Twitter posts, and especially here in my blog posts. With that in mind, here are a few of the pictures I have “shared” recently. I hope you enjoy them. But please, do NOT share them with anyone other than your closest “friends.” I’d prefer to keep them as “private” as possible. I wouldn’t want this to go viral.