My Own “Facebook Obsession”

    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.