In an unusual event of my actually finding Facebook useful in potentiaâ€”I added a friend to find out their email addressâ€”I discovered Facebookâ€™s public search listing feature. From this stems my publicly available Facebook page which is indexed by search engines.
This page lists my status updates, my friends and allows people to send me a message. I wonder how many Facebook users realise this page exists. For me it isnâ€™t a particular bother, Iâ€™m used to information about me being publicly available and rather think itâ€™s a good thing. For others, however, this isnâ€™t the case.
Several of my friends donâ€™t understand why I have a personal weblog. The internet isnâ€™t the same to them as it is to me. I see a wonderful tool to connect with the wider world and donâ€™t understand why Iâ€™d limit its use to my existing friendship group. To many, computers engender a feeling they lack control, from this can stem fear as we donâ€™t feel we are on safe ground. From this other viewpoint, I can empathise the closed nature of Facebook is appealing. Facebook is controllable, you can feel safe there. Is this one reason people flock there?
There are dangers on the internet, but there are many in everyday life and we donâ€™t hide ourselves away there. We understand everyday life, however, and so feel on more concrete foundations. Starting from a base of confidence we donâ€™t need the safety of a closed environment. I wonder whether the internet will ever feel so safe, as technology progresses from imperfect stage to imperfect stage without stopping to fill in the cracks which make it feel so complex.