I spent a few minutes trying to get this message into under 140 characters for Twitter, but it just didn't work — forgive me for being long winded.

The uproar about Facebook and privacy is driving me crazy.  How many of you trust web sites to protect your private information? Or, for that matter, any business or organization that isn't bound by law to keep your information confidential?  Even then, do you read the news about data breaches?

For goodness sakes, you joined a social network, a place where people share things. A social network is where you put things you want other people to see and interact with. It's where you keep track of what other people are doing. It's where you can meet new people and learn about new things. These conveniences are provided by people who want to make a grip of money.

If you don't want something to be seen by the general public (or by a business that makes money by advertising to you), don't share it. Don't type it into a form on the Internet.

You know that picture of you being embarassingly frisky at that drunken party several years ago? Guess what — if someone's going to share that picture and put your name on it, and if it's on the Internet, Google will find it. The fact that it's on Facebook and you've deleted your account? Irrelevent.

You know that embarrassing Tweet you made about the hot girl who ended up being a dude? Guess what — that's a bell you can't unring. It's just easier to find, now. Quitting Facebook (or Twitter) won't make it go away.

Hey, maybe you're just taking a stand against The Man, you know, the ones that can now find out your name and your birthday and the fact that you like to fish. Some things need to stay private, man! Well, stop choosing to put things you don't want on the Internet, on the Internet. You'll sleep better. Trust me.

Facebook isn't there to protect you — their job is to make money, and they're going to make their money by sharing your interests and your activities with people who want to sell you things. That's how most of the Internet works, by the way. If you're feeling indignant about sharing your personal information with anonymous companies and developers, you have two options: Stop sharing things you don't want to share, or get off the Internet.

Sooner or later you'll have to reconcile what you do and how you behave with the fact that there are a lot of people watching. Yeah, I read that blog post by the guy who is personally and financially interested in Facebook's decline. I got indignant for a few seconds as well, until I remembered that Facebook is a powerful and useful tool because they share so much.

The only thing that Facebook could do better is to clarify what gets shared, and when. It's a pain in the ass to navigate the shifting sands of what's available in which context, but it's not that big of a deal. Frankly, if they said that everything was available to everyone, all of the time ... I'd stay, I'd continue to share links and stories and pictures, I'd continue to chat with my friends, and I'd be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that everything I'm doing on Facebook would be wide open to the world.

This recent hubbub is a reality check. This is the direction the world is moving. Embrace it!  Use it to do good things for yourself, your family, and your friends!

Or, you can hide under a rock.

We'll miss you.

... Continued here.

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