At least once a week someone offers me an excuse about why he or she isn’t using the privacy settings on Facebook.
This comes after the individual kvetches about coworkers, prospective employers or relatives having Facebook accounts; I suggest the privacy settings, and people either ask me to explain how the features work, or offer me some — well, I have yet to hear a logical reason why one wouldn’t use the privacy settings.
Readers, picture me making an L out of my right thumb and index finger while saying, “Lame!” Now here are the top excuses people have for not touching the privacy settings on Facebook.
This one doesn’t even count as an excuse. Yet highly educated, articulate people who express detailed opinions on most topics suddenly become inarticulate when asked why they don’t use the privacy settings. That’s because there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t use these features.
I don’t have time
People have an exaggerated idea about how long it takes to fiddle with the privacy settings. Then they spend hours playing CityVille, and wonder where their day went. If you have time to check Facebook updates, you can reallocate that same number of minutes to click on the upper right-hand corner of the screen and adjust your privacy.
I’m too busy
If you were really that busy you wouldn’t have had the time to open an account on Facebook in the first place. If you’re already fitting social media into your schedule, you could spend one of those sessions going through the privacy settings.
That’s too much work
How much work did you put into uploading photos to the site, filling out your profile and clicking on things you like? The amount of effort that goes into those tasks equals the “exertion” needed for the privacy settings. And let’s face it: All of this is less work than what you do on the job, right?
It sounds so complicated
Here’s what’s complicated: censoring your own profile, wall posts, status updates, photos and videos so that they don’t offend your aunt, cubicle neighbor or church acquaintance. The same goes for avoiding the site in order to steer clear of these characters. It’s much simpler to limit what these pesky people can see by using the privacy settings.
I’m going on Facebook less anyway
Really? So you’re going to let your mom, boss, or annoying neighbor keep you from something that everyone else is doing to stay in touch and get invited to events? We’ve seen what happens when people try to wean themselves off of the social network: They either come back because they’re missing out on all of the party invitations or become hermits. Don’t isolate yourself!
Have you heard these same excuses from people who aren’t using the privacy settings on Facebook? Or if you’ve heard any others we haven’t mentioned here, by all means, please share them in the comments section below.