The Facebook Conspiracy
This might be shocking for you to hear but … I’m a big conspiracy theorist (ok I was being sarcastic there).
I don’t come up with the theories but I do believe that often times things are not what they seem. From sudden economy crashes to war mongering across the globe to the rise and fall of our cost of living.
As voiceover artists who work through the internet … I believe that we need to strike a balance between giving out amazing amounts of information to websites like facebook, myspace, linkedin etc.
This came up today because of something my wife said to me about facebook. I despise facebook… honest to God I think facebook might be the single worst thing that has happened to the internet since pop ups and spam.
Why you may ask?
Take a look at this flash presentation… its not new but it scared the crap out of me : http://www.albumoftheday.com/facebook/
You might have read on the news how several people have lost their jobs because of their off hand postings on facebook. Just plug in facebook firing on google… and check out the results… the latest scandal revolves around a certain athlete who posted a pic of himself with a bong. Seriously what the hell were you thinking dude? These people didn’t think to edit or censor their facebook postings which are available to anyone you add as a “Friend” as well as to strangers if you haven’t initiated the security options that facebook now provides.
If you go to my website… www.mahmoudtaji.com you’ll notice that I don’t provide address info or telephone info. Many of you do because you want clients to contact you directly. A few years back I had a website up dedicated to my design work… you can still see some of my design work on my new website… but back then I had everything up there… my cell number, home number, work resume, address… the works. What ended up happening is I started getting SMS messages from a female designer in the states who liked my work… wanted to get to know me… so… stalking.
For those of you who have never experienced Cyber Stalking… its probably one of the worst things that can happen to you. It suddenly turns your view of this free and lovely internet that we love and use daily 180 degrees. Granted when I designed the website I didnt mention that I was married (basically because I put it up a year before I got married). So when I clarified to that female graphic designer that her sms messages at 4 am were disturbing me and my wife… she got the message and stopped messaging.
As much as it feeds my Male ego that I am a chick magnet and that my animal magnetism can trap the ladies even through the interwebs… It is still disturbing when you get unsolicited interest from someone who knows everything about you because you innocently (or should I say naively) put all your info up there for them to have.
Striking a balance
So how do you strike a balance… Well first off… don’t mix business with pleasure… If you use facebook to hook up with your family and friends.. then don’t add business contacts to them… like your boss or your supervisor. Also go into your privacy settings in facebook and implement all those funky privacy options that wont allow anyone to look you up through google or access your profile if they don’t know you.
Or you can go Kazinsky on Facebook’s ass and close your account.. go under the radar. I’d love to do that … honestly I would but I purchase most of my PS3 games through PS3 enthusiast groups on facebook.
For those who live in the UK their new CCTV monitoring system is so against anything that constitutes personal freedom that I am flabbergasted that a First world, Western “Democracy” would agree to such draconian and totalitarian measures… They say this is for your protection… I am sure they are effective against preventing some crimes but just as much as they force criminals to find more creative ways to steal your belongings… this also gives the government information about anywhere you go and what you do.
At least in the 3rd world country I live in we know they do this and we’ve gotten used to it… In your case they do it and you are almost oblivious. The biggest lie the shadow governments ever perpetrated is convincing the world that they don’t exist.
If you want to use social networking to make business contacts … use linkedin not facebook… don’t mix the two.
Outside of my conspiracy ramblings… the core of this article is that you should protect yourself… measure out how much information you want to provide to the public… there are tons of methods of facilitating contact between you and a potential client that still protect your privacy and ensure that you are safe.
- Don’t add your full address on your website
- Don’t provide private and delicate information about yourself on facebook or myspace
- Don’t use simple passwords on these sites… make it hard for hackers
- Don’t Twitter your every bowl movement … we don’t want to hear it (that has nothing to do with security… just my sanity)
- Don’t think that if someone stalks you that you are helpless… contact the police and inform them
- And… protect your kids… don’t provide all info about them in your social networking profiles. Keep info like what schools they go to, their favorite candy and their interests to yourself… weirdos are called weirdos for a reason.
The Fear of God
Yes I want to put the fear of God in you about this. You’ll thank me later … think of it as preventative maintenance. By being careful you are preventing any future transgression from happening to you… kind of like an Anti-Virus program… you have it there for a reason… and like a home or car alarm system.
Incidentally in this article I have only mentioned the Mildest form of stalking that has occurred to me. I have been through allot worse and I am keeping that experience to myself because I am practicing what I preach here… you guys don’t need to know everything about me 🙂
Will this alert others and make them suspicious of you because you aren’t sharing that information so freely… maybe.
But honestly… your private issues are none of anyone’s else’s business.
If you have a view about this matter… leave a comment
On a Separate note
I’m very disappointed in you folks at how little participation I am getting in helping me build the VO directory. I am getting left comments in other posts where people allude to their using freelance websites to gain voice over work … but they don’t list them (if they are already in the directory… please mention it). This goes back to what I was saying… people love to find free resources but hate to give out information to help others. They keep the site names to themselves not wanting to share them lest that decrease their chances of landing jobs.
Tsk Tsk… for shame