Didn’t your Mum tell you not to get into a car with a stranger?

Good morning, Social Rabbit here with your guide to the world of social media.

Today Facebook have released changes to the privacy rules, so I thought it is a good topic for the blog.

There is a lot of stories in the news at the moment (in Australia anyway) about the dangers of online social networking sites.  My thoughts on this is that it is all about the lack of education on social networking sites by parents and schools with children/teens/young adults.  I don’t know about you but when I was growing up I got told:

  • Don’t talk to strangers
  • Don’t get in a car with a stranger
  • Don’t answer the front door to a stranger

But nowadays these don’t really apply as much, these new rules should be added:

  • Don’t chat on Facebook/MySpace/Twitter etc with someone who you don’t know, or a friend of yours doesn’t know
  • Don’t meet anyone offline who you have met online unless it is in a public place and you have told someone where you are going, and ideally get them to call you after 30 minutes to check you are ok
  • If you think the other person you are talking to online is a little weird ask a grown up to look at their profile and give you their opinion and if in doubt de-friend/de-follow/de-connect etc.

I think that most of the bad experiences we hear about happen because people just do not think.  They don’t think that giving a complete stranger their phone number is dangerous, they don’t think that someone may lie about their age, sex, profession.  People forget that there are weirdos out there who target others for unusual reasons.

Online behaviour should be something that is taught in schools from when children first start, parents should be monitoring what their children get up to online – easier said than done I’m sure!

But rather than blaming Facebook people should be looking elsewhere, as lets face it if it wasn’t Facebook it would be another networking site.  All Facebook is is a tool to allow people to communicate and socialise.  How people choose to use that tool is up to them.  When you go to a real life networking event you don’t arrive in your fishnet stockings, heels and a leather dress – so don’t post that photo on Facebook if you don’t want people to see it!  At a party you don’t go up to a complete stranger and start telling them all your inner most secrets (well most people don’t!).  Can you see what I am getting at?  Everyone is in charge of how they portray themselves to a certain extent, and all it needs is education about the online world.

Blaming Facebook or whichever network is like saying I decided to cut my steak with a chainsaw (instead of a knife) and accidently cut off my leg and it’s all the chainsaw’s fault….  The saying goes “a bad workman blames his tools”

What do you think about this?  Is it lack of education?  Is the online world changing too fast for people to keep up?  Tell me in the comments below or on the Social Rabbit Facebook Page.


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