Techno-Logic: Social Networking – Even When You Know, You Don’t

Special to the Parade

As a tech writer and experienced user of social networking tools, you’d think I’d be more aware of how cautious we should be on social networks. Unfortunately, this week I found out that things can go horribly wrong, because we can’t filter what others say to each other.

I have several friends. Two of them don’t really like each other. What happens when two angry people who dislike each other start commenting on my wall? It gets ugly. It got to a point where I had to temporarily suspend my account. It’s not gone forever, but it will appear to be non-existent to others.

I can always log back in if I’d like, but I am going to have to wait for things to cool down before I can sign back in. Needless to say, it all could have been prevented. The lesson is to always be mindful of what friends post on your wall. It may not be your own post, but things can still get bad enough to get you into trouble.

That’s where social networking can become troublesome. I remember a similar story in which a friend in a touring band opened for another band. Someone commented on their MySpace page (Remember MySpace?) and the comment caused one of the musicians to think that the other band had a problem with him. In the end, the bands talked it out and there were no major problems. Still, for a long while, one of the musicians thought the other had a problem with him. Again, it was neither of the bands, nor their members, it was a post by a random fan.

Still, this all goes to show that you yourself can try to be as cautious as you’d like with your posts on Facebook. It doesn’t stop others from disliking each other and having their fights. Your Facebook account may become more of a problem than you’d ever intended.

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