My Own “Facebook Obsession”

By: John Wiggill - January 7, 2011

I shuffled to the front of the room and scanned the crowd, looking on in bored anticipation. I stood up straight and addressed the room, "My name’s John Wiggill and I’m a Facebook ho."

Last night I watched CNBC’s "Facebook Obsession"  and it made me think… am I being duped? Is Facebook really as evil as they seem to think?

Is Facebook evil? Tell us what you think. 

Social media, for  me, started with MySpace, when  my daughter went to college in 2002. She asked me to join this cool new Internet program to keep in touch with her.

I joined and learned some things that I didn’t really want to know and wondered "Why would she say that online?" She knew I could see her comments!

Maybe she thought I wouldn’t be looking, but hey I’m a super geek and she knew it.

I was a little embarrassed, but when I told her to remember that I could see what she was posting, she didn’t seem to care. From that point on, I didn’t pay too much attention to what she was doing. I didn’t dare!

Alcoholics Anonymous made the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Neibuhr famous:

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

It’s a hard lesson to learn, but I knew I had to figure it out if I was ever going have a good relationship with my little girl, so I tried to open my mind. It was hard for me.

I was totally focused on my business, but one day, she told me about a new website called Facebook, so I signed on to see what it was all about. I didn’t realize that I had just joined the vehicle that would change the way the world communicates, but it was a lesson that I quickly learned.

Myspace isn’t even a competitor now!

If you want to be hear my opinions on travel, dieting, dating, politics and practically anything else I have to say, please "Friend" me on Facebook. (Adults only please.)

I caught the computer bug in 1982 when I bought my first computer, a Commodore 64. Flash forward. I joined AOL in 1992. I’ve had my original e-mail address of since 1995. My kids are all geeks too.

Facebook Obsession Doc from CNBCLet’s just say I’ve seen it all, and I’m a little disturbed by the CNBC portrayal of Facebook. Facebook has revolutionized personal, family and business communication! Facebook was the vehicle that united my relatives around the world. I communicate now daily with relatives and friends in England, South Africa and Australia. I’ve reconnected with high school friends. I keep in touch with my kids, brothers, sisters, grandkids, nieces, nephews and business contacts. Best of all, we’re all "Friends!" If you want to know what’s going on in the world of Wiggill, you need to be on Facebook.

Now, I worked for a major international corporation for 25 years and we were taught a simple principle: never say anything in public that you’d be embarrassed to see on the front page of your local newspaper.

That’s an adult lesson that people who were portrayed on CNBC haven’t learned. Don’t blame Facebook if you say stupid things online.

Yes the CEO of did and said some stupid things too. He was a kid! Facebook was worth millions when he was just 19 years old! I’m sure he wishes he could do some things differently, but he doesn’t make excuses and I’m sure he’ll find his way.

The teacher that got fired for calling parents idiots…is an idiot. She caused her own problem but doesn’t want to take responsibility for what she said!

My Mom taught me a life lesson when I was very young. "If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!"

Facebook didn’t put those bad words in her mouth or force her to write them!

They have private messages if you want to say something private! If you’re afraid someone might be offended by something you want to say… don’t say it, but don’t blame the messenger if people see it.

Blame yourself!

As far as privacy goes, the company has adjusted its policy repeatedly, including after the huge uproar following the launch of its social plugins and Open Graph initiative last April.

More discussion about CNBC’s Facebook doc on the WebProNews Facebook page

Does Facebook have privacy problems, or do people just need to be more responsible? Share your thoughts.

John Wiggill

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  • Mike

    I agree to a point. Adults are and should be held accountable for the crap they put on Facebook. That said, there are plenty of kids posting crap they will regret someday. On the one hand, that is part of growing up and all – kids do stupid things. On the other hand though, the stupid things I did 20 years ago, are (for the most part :) ) not indexed and searchable forever online.

    The adults who post things that never really go away are one thing. The 16 year olds doing it are a little bit of a different story.

  • Tom Tucker

    If you don’t want people to see it, don’t put it online.

    • Guest

      In the case of facebook, make sure you don’t exist, right? I mean to be honest I used facebook for a few days, and the relentless prodding and poking from people I didn’t particularly like never stopped, and the second people started tagging me in photo graphs which I never asked them to take of me in the first place was enough for me.

      If it helps, people are even starting to get upset over impostor profiles of people who have never joined the network themselves. It’s like a sophisticated way to spread rumors.

      It’s probably not something that is specific problem to facebook itself, as many websites can be like that, but the meshing of real world networks to online worlds makes it a little more stressful in some instances.

      Kids should be allowed more anonymity. Jmo…

  • Susan

    Privacy is always an issue

  • Guest

    I watched the show last night too. I was wondering how these people could let facebook affect their lives so much. I am a facebook junkie, I will admit it to the world, but not to my fiance when we argue about me playing games on facebook:)
    The internet is a public place, you dig your own grave when it comes to social sites. If you don’t want the world to know your personal information, don’t give it. all you need to sign up is an email address. Yahoo and Hotmail give those out for free. Make a name up on those sites, and then make an anonymous facebook.
    One of my favorite comments that I read on Facebook (I have to admit that I copied it once) was
    Unless you want to let everyone see your dirty laundry:)
    The bottom line is that the public drives facebook, facebook is public, if you don’t want yourself all over facebook then don’t join. In my opinion nothing on any site is sacred, so enter at your own risk!

  • Guest

    Like any other tool whether it is a backhoe, nail gun, the virtual reality program SAP or Facebook, anyone using them should read the instruction book!!! and the subsequent updates. Everyone on Facebook received an email announcing that updates to the program would necessitate its users redoing their privacy settings.
    What really disturbs me is that the teacher and we all know that most of teaching is example, example, example, refuses to take responsibility for her own actions. It wasn’t Facebook that caused her to lose her job; it was her own lack of discretion and who wants someone teaching their children that it is okay to say or do what ever you want as long as you don’t get caught.

  • Kevin

    Facebook is an awesome service conecting people and services all around the world.
    The trade off between free service and privacy. Would you pay for a service that garauntee your right to privacy?

    Facebook, just like Microsoft, was a rip off of some else’s idea, but its first to market and actually doing it.

    Business are their to make money…