Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It seems I am just too busy to keep up with my writing self.  I have been on a road trip with my husband, an overnight with long-time friends and have an upcoming retreat with relatively new women friends.  These are all relationships that add spice to my "senior" life.  Here's an article from USA Today about the friendships of women.  It is writing about women in their 50's finding closeness with other women friends.  This friendship need even deepens with women in their 60's, 70's and 80's as many women tend to outlive their spouses. 

I am thankful beyond words for all of my women friends, past, present and future! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Facebook Privacy Issues

My friends know that I am a Facebook devotee and have had to defend that position with several people or groups of friends who think that social networking is surely of the devil (you know who you are!)  I have written about "keeping up" in prior posts.   I have offered my services for Facebook lessons, trying to convince others in the aging population that we must keep up to date.  Many people finally become convinced when they realize they are missing out on the pictures and posts of their extended family, especially grandchildren (although some wish they didn't know quite so much about their grandchildren's doings!)  For many, Facebook has taken the place of email updates.  A birthday full of messages from all your FB friends is a great new experience! 

But recently I have become aware that I need to also give some privacy pointers to these same FB converts.  It is unfortunate that one of the goals of social media is to get as much of our information as possible, but we do go into these internet places with that knowledge.  It is up to us to be vigilant, checking regularly to be sure that our privacy settings have not been changed.  Here's an example.

Recently, a friend was tagged in a "photo" by another friend.  What was sent was actually not a photo but a poster, detailing some controversial happenings in first person's life and work.  Sending that poster to the individual in question was a personal decision, made by tagging that person as though the poster was a photo.  This is often done by people, tagging friends at a party or family event.  It can be a lot of fun.  But what people don't realize is that if you tag someone, that notification goes out to their entire friend list, not just the person tagged, unless you have edited your settings to keep that from happening.  In other words, if someone tags me at the beach in my bathing suit, I want to be the ONLY ONE to see it and delete it before it goes viral! 

Here is a very good article on things that you should check out regarding your settings.  This does not, however, include instructions for avoiding the issue I mentioned above.  To change the settings for pictures tagged by others, go to Account, Privacy Settings, Customize settings (here you should set all to "Friends Only.") There is also a very small line to edit privacy settings for existing photo albums and videos.  You need to individually set these to Friends Only.   Under "Things others share," "Photos and Videos you're tagged in," you should Edit Settings, Customize, "Only Me" on drop-down menu, Save.  Also disable "Suggest photos of me to others" and click "Okay."

Facebook is notorious for making changes to the privacy settings when they do an upgrade or make universal changes.  They have gotten a lot of grief for this and continue to claim that they are changing this behavior.  However, it is up to you to check your settings regularly to be sure they have not been changed (perhaps by putting a note on your calendar to check settings once a month.)

 I still contend that Facebook is a fun place to see what's happening with your friends and family.  But do recognize that you must be vigilant about the privacy issues.   

(Photo by smemon87, shared via Flickr)