I’m not sure if this graphic actually even deserves an explanation. Confusing? Yes. Do I have time to put my privacy filters through a fine toothed comb? No. From today’s New York Times:
“Facebook users who hope to make their personal information private should be prepared to spend a lot of time pressing a lot of buttons. To opt out of full disclosure of most information, it is necessary to click through more than 50 privacy buttons, which then require choosing among a total of more than 170 options.”
One word: Ridiculous. In my opinion – Facebook is counting on the vast majority of it’s users being overwhelmed to the point where they don’t even bother to review or refine their privacy settings, and exposing themselves to intrusions that are not welcome and, in some cases, dangerous.
As you can see from the graph above, Facebook users 18-34 continue to be excited and enamored with the Social Networking site and it’s ability to integrate into every aspect of their life. 35+, not so much, with the ‘buzz’ score in that age demo flat-lining and, effectively, declining over the last several weeks. I think part of that can be attributed to a significant amount of angst around Facebook’s clear lack of regard for privacy of it’s users (as denoted in a comprehensive infograph of the evolution of privacy on Facebook since it’s inception in 2005).
It’s apparent that we are in an age where people are more apt to share the details of their lives with their friends and their extended social network. What’s also apparent is that the level of comfort to do so clearly falls in an age group that is, ahem, younger than me. I guess I am an outlier in some regards as the propensity to share is a natural extension of my job. What is interesting, is that while the younger generation is more willing to share daily habits, escapades, and activities, they are also more diligent in ‘scrubbing’ their tracks when information they don’t want to appear makes itself present in their social timeline. As reported in today New York Times:
“In a new study to be released this month, the Pew Internet Project has found that people in their 20s exert more control over their digital reputations than older adults, more vigorously deleting unwanted posts and limiting information about themselves.“
My take? Careful what you post – words, pictures, information – as it’s always available and very hard to remove.