But I have had a few incidents lately that make me wonder if I am fooling myself about the Internet and privacy.
Here’s one example: I answered a question that someone posed on her Facebook business (fan) page because I honestly thought that she was looking for help in deciding how much to pay a babysitter. So I posted, as my personal profile, how much we pay our babysitter, why we wouldn’t pay less, and how much more other people have charged us. She also asked where we lived so I included that information as well.
The following day, I noticed her tweet out a link to her 11,000 followers on Twitter stating that she had asked about babysitting rates. Curious and thinking it was a blog post summarizing it by state, I clicked. I was wrong. She had just linked to her Facebook status with all of our answers listed underneath.
Which meant that not only was my full name next to my answer listing exactly how much I’ve paid for babysitting, but my profile was also clickable. I happen to keep my profile page very private on Facebook so you can only see my blog posts and my hilarious generic status because I’m a genius. But what if I hadn’t been so strict on my security settings? What if I was just thinking that I was helping another mom and now thousands of people could scroll through my profile?
Honestly, I DID think that I was helping the person BEHIND the company. I run my blog that way. I believe we are helping each other. And if I ever link to you or to discuss a topic that you have inspired, I either email you or I disguise the discussion enough that you aren’t traceable or both.
And I would’ve been fine if she had done a blog post gathering up our information and presenting it even though that’s not how I interpreted the question posed. Now I feel like it was just a company who wanted something that people would be interested in viewing and was too lazy to even re-write the answers in a meaningful way.
I haven’t broached the subject with the website owner because I’m not sure if I’m just stupid. And, of course, Scott doesn’t think it’s a big deal at all.
So I ask: Am I being over-sensitive? Is this the nature of Facebook and Twitter or do I have the right to expect others to give me basic protections? Are we all just blog-fodder?
The answer that came over email from a student in my Art of Blogging class that made me go DUH. She says: About your babysitting rates FB post, you can delete your own post(s) by scrolling over the top far right corner of the white space of your post. You’ll see the X.