11 August 2009

Do Friends REALLY Want To Share Everything?

I find it an interesting paradox that many people love Facebook for its ability to connect. Yet at the same time there is a whole load of people – I would GUESS that it is the majority – who are just not comfortable with sharing everything. Yet with Facebook and other Social Media tools, both the choice and the ability to allow a depth of nuance of what is allowable eludes the user.

A close family member refuses to share her Facebook access with me because she fears that I will have access into her own personal world of her friends and relationships. I have no desire to pry yet there are many different other family members (connected to both of us) who wish to connect and be connected to other family members yet are at the brick wall of this decision.

I liken this dilemma to that of the original Web 1.0 Travel products where access was the value and the trade off of access was the poor User Experience. Ditto today with Social Media, the trade off is loss of anonymity with access to a broader community of “friends”. One has to ask is this sustainable? I think not. As the tools proliferate around Facebook and in the interior of Facebook so too will the willingness to share be a trade off of being exploited. I am really getting upset with some of the intrusive “suggestions” that Facebook sends to me.

And no I don’t think Friends do really want to share everything to everybody equally. The technology is not up to it and the management is definitely not.

Friends don’t let Friends use Facebook indiscriminately!


1 comment:

AAMSultan, ITC said...

The problem is that all social media outlets (Facebook and similar websites) have two options only: Connect without restrictions OR do not connect at all.
Those two available options make people very cautious before granting access rights to others. Since granting access would be considered as a point of no return, most social media sites' members tend to deny access to others for the sake of being on the safe side.
The whole social media experience would be different if the access options are more than (yes) and (no). I am thinking of access levels ranging from (0) to (10) where (0) simply means (no) and level (10) simply means non-restricted access. Access levels ranging between (1) and (9) will be chosen based on the level of acquaintance/ friendship.
Thus, members of social sites will be given more control on the issue of privacy.