A Very Disturbing Facebook Trend

I am seeing a very disturbing trend. I am 50 years old, and my usage of Facebook is adjunct to my life, it is not my life. Want to get hold of me? Send me an email. Don’t post something on my Facebook wall and expect me to see it. I don’t check it every 2 minutes!

I already have too many places where people could (and do) leave messages. In a recent blog called Too many ways to message me… (or am I just getting old)? I said that someone very clever (and probably still in puberty) will make millions providing a way to aggregate all these messages back into a single stream. Maybe it is the new RockMelt browser?

But that is not my concern. A short while ago in a blog called With the internet, our past is now written in pen not pencil I claimed that GenY didn’t understand the implications of the internet and what they post on Facebook. That they were posting photos that they will never be able to erase. That will come back to haunt them when they are trying to appear responsible, employable or electable.

The worrying trend is that I now see more and more of my friends ‘getting Facebook’ and piling in. A slew of Friend Requests as they discover long lost mates or current contacts on Facebook. Facebook is become the defacto address book. And that is brilliant.

The big concern is that all these boomers have not grown up with Facebook. We haven’t grown up around FB and learnt how it ‘works’;

  • what is acceptable for Friend Request- who is a ‘friend’; a business colleague, a mate from school or friend of a friend. Is unfriending or ignoring a request rude? For a great explanation of FB friends here is a very funny video from Some Grey Bloke
  • how much to read into a posting – drunken post, sarcasm, genuine love . My 42 year old divorced sister-in-law recently announced she was proposed to by her new boyfriend on FB. She announced it and we all laughed assuming it was a joke.
  • privacy settings – should they let everyone in, or no-one in… or maybe they can’t even find the privacy settings because they are not very PC literate
  • posting photos – we never had “No FB photo parties” and it is easy to scan paper photos and post them in FB

So now we have got to the nub of the problem. My ‘Friends’ starting to post photos from my past and they are now committed to the internet FOR EVER.

So if you want to see what I looked like with hair, upside down between the walls in a hall (a party trick) or {fill in blank} it is all on the internet.

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Ian Gotts is CEO and Chairman of Nimbus Partners, an established and rapidly growing global software company, headquartered in the UK. He is a very experienced senior executive and serial entrepreneur, with a career spanning 25 years. Ian has co-authored a number of books including “Common Approach, Uncommon Results”, published in English and Chinese and in its second edition, "Why Killer Products Don't Sell" and books covering Cloud computing from the perspective of both the prospective buyer, and the software vendor. Having begun his career in 1983 as an engineer for British Rail, Ian then spent 12 years at Accenture (nee Andersen Consulting) specialising in the project management of major business critical IT projects. During this time, he spent two years as an IT Director, seconded to the Department for Social Security (DSS), with a department of over 500 and a budget responsibility of 40 million pounds.