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Facebook just invited my wife to be friends with my first wife.  I don't know how that happened, and neither does my wife.  She just got an email invite saying you might want to be friends with this person.  The same thing happened about a month ago when I registered into Linkedin, solely to send an email to one specific person I was searching for from my past.  Within two weeks I was receiving emails from all sorts of people from my past who were responding to autogenerated emails from Linkedin, which had obviously tapped into my yahoo email account, and who knows what else , to scattergun emails on my behalf asking everyone and anyone that their software could even remotely connect me to "join me on Linkedin."

I don't like that.  I find it creepy.  Some of the recipients did as well.  Is this what social media is all about?  Fishing your personal data to try to reel in people that you may or may not want to be in contact with?

I want to erase my entire digital footprint at this point.  


Has this happened to you?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 05:50:49 PM PST

  •  It's just another tool (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    No more, no less.   I mocked it mercilessly, at first, until it became clear that it's very useful for finding and reuniting with old friends who have went their separate ways over the years.

    Now I have a mini-reunion/baseball-stadium-roadtrip every year with a handful of fraternity brothers whom I hadn't seen since the early 1990s - and it wouldn't have been possible without FB.

    I consider myself neither impressed or unimpressed - just glad that I didn't dismiss it outright at the onset.

    •  Not compulsory.... (0+ / 0-)

      I have a Facebook page for one of my video game characters, but not for myself. It still manages to dig up all sorts of people from my past. I haven't contacted a single one of them yet, but since it isn't forcing me to, it doesn't bother me.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 08:02:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I made the mistake of joining Linked-In... (4+ / 0-) the request of another Kossack (not sayin' who!).

    I ended up being linked to all my former coworkers from the City of Chicago, except the one I really would have liked to have been.

    As far as social media goes, DKos is social enough for me. I have no reason to delve into Facebook, and give very little time to Linked-In.

  •  Agreed. Creepy, scary. (8+ / 0-)

    I am not on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or any of the other "social media."  Never have been, am not now, will not be.  No interest in any of the social media.  My likes, dislikes, comings and goings, thoughts, concerns, and the like are none of your business.

    At least once a week I receive an email from one of the social media sites advising me that "XXXXX wants you to join them on (whatever)."  I always decline and delete the message.

    These sites exist on advertising dollars.  They show advertisers that they insert ads onto messages.  The advertisers look at the data and say "Damn!!! One million views!!  We need to advertise on that!!"  The social media sites must continue to add viewers to keep the numbers climbing to keep the advertising coming.

    Whatever happened to producing an actual, useful product?

    •  Sigh (6+ / 0-)

      Because you don't like what a product does does not mean that it is inferior, or a sign of inferiority in others that use it.

      I don't watch TV -- literally never; I don't even have a connection. But I hesitate to tell others that, because it sounds like cultural snobbery, "Oh you peasants...." It isn't. I'd just rather spend my TV time in video gaming, reading, or writing. No good or bad, just tastes, that's all.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 08:05:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm on Facebook for professional reasons--students (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, marina

    and alumni info. Twitter? Eh. Yes and no. Linked in? Yes, unfortunately. What a pain.

    And there are many, many people I do not want to "friend."

  •  I don't participate. I don't even use Google. (5+ / 0-)

    I prefer Yahoo, but I'm not sure it's that much better.

    When YouTube needed a Facebook account to confirm my identity, I let my YouTube account lapse.

    Creepiness continues, none the less. The ads I get here on Daily Kos often reflect the topic of the thread I'm posting on.

    I even saw an ad for a gentlemen's club right after I commented on Exotic Dancers organizing to try to get health benefits.

    And your "poll" is kinda'ed up.

    "There is no expedient to which man will not resort to avoid the true labor of thinking." -Sir Joshua Reynolds

    by New Jersey Boy on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 06:11:34 PM PST

  •  My spouse and I both (4+ / 0-)

    are motivated to stay out of FB as a result of security concerns connected with our jobs.

    And then there is this:

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 06:12:13 PM PST

  •  And you thought the NSA was intrusive. nt (4+ / 0-)
  •  It's Possible It Just Happened to Me. (3+ / 0-)

    I just joined Linkedin myself due to what I thought was a personal invitation from a particular practitioner in my field. I'll have to double check the email and see if it can be identified as a message from that person.

    I have a presence on Facebook but never post anything to it, mainly because I sell my artisan wares via internet and I need to be findable. Same with Linkedin; I'm not going to participate on it, like Facebook I just use these to point to my business web page.

    I do use gmail rarely; don't maintain address books or contact lists for anyone or anything on line anywhere.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 06:23:38 PM PST

  •  George Takei's posts on FB (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, Mortifyd, marina, VaBreeze

    Are worth it.

    Seriously, I mainly use Shoutyface to pimp my band gigs. I have my own co-located server for all my real stuff.

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 06:31:12 PM PST

  •  "Happy goldfish bowl to you, to me, to everyone... (2+ / 0-)

    And may each of you fry in Hell forever!" - the end line of a great Asimov story, "The Dead Past", which brings to mind the world we're now living in and the total loss of privacy. Here's a link to the free online PDF -

    That guy knew his stuff.

    "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses??" - future President Paul Ryan

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 06:36:28 PM PST

  •  Yes, some sites suck, but I'm a fan because (5+ / 0-)

    social media is a useful tool for activists. I'm 53 years old and when I was a kid, we had "phone trees". Planning an action? Start calling days before, I had my list of 40 names (swallow before capture) and leave a cryptic message on someone's (tape) answering machine if they weren't home at the time. Two days before, slap receptive neighborhoods with flyers, illegally stapled/taped to pretty much anything.

    Now? I remember during the "Arab Spring" when the US government (I think) asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled maintenance downtime so that activists in Tahrir Square wouldn't be without. IIRC, Twitter complied.

    Social media is a tool, and I mean that in more ways than one, but we have a time advantage in that the radical right thugs haven't learned to use it effectively yet.

    •  yes, I don't use any of that, in fact I avoid it- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, Banach MacAmbrais

      but I couldn't help thinking of the organizational abilities of Twitter (I remember the business about postponing scheduled maintenance) and Facebook.
           Luckily for me, when some friends from wayback got together on Facebook recently, one of them remembered that I don't do that and I'm still in land-line territory too, and she took a chance and called me the old fashioned way.
          Back in the day my husband was on a volleyball team and it was the same sort of thing. Schedule change or need to know who's going to show up? Phone tree. No, honey, please don't use the phone until they call back. When will they call? I dunno. Wait and see. And wait...

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 08:24:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You do realize that you use a different metric (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nuclear winter solstice

    for social behavior than folks under 40?

    Its akin to the younger folks not being embarrassed for have their butt cracks exposed in public.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 08:14:11 PM PST

  •  Who cares? You're over 30. You don't exist. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, JeffW

    I am nearly 60. I strongly avoid social media as a long term threat to my privacy and security. I even made up a gmail account for my smart phone, as getting into your normal gmail account could spell doom, for example if I lost the phone. This is a little extra paranoid, but who knows?
    After my sister died, I was able to hack almost every account of hers ( I am the executor of the estate so I did not break any laws) because I had the gmail password by using the "I forgot my password link" on web sites. I also hacked her computer by using a linux password reset boot disk, so once your computer is out of your hands, you are in big trouble.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 08:55:21 PM PST

  •  I kept getting a woman I can't stand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WakeUpNeo, JeffW

    looking at me from facebook , day after day there was her photo and facebook was suggesting I friend her . I found that I had to say to facebook , no F'ing way . I banned her from friending me . That did the trick , no more looking at her photo everyday .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 08:59:06 PM PST

  •  I'm 66, and use facebook to stay in touch with (0+ / 0-)

    I used to work with and friends I have not seen for years, sometimes decades...Facebook did urge me to become friends with my wife, who died 2 years ago. I forgot she even had started a facebook account before she died, and I found a way to take it and close it.

    There are ways to get around much of facebook, but every time you use facebook to register on another site, your information is given out. I am just resigned that no one has any privacy for years now, and it's not just the "social media" either.

    FWIW, facebook is the only one I use - they are probably the least invasive I have found.

    Bring me the head of Geraldo Rivera.

    by old mark on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 09:44:37 PM PST

  •  It's how we get all that "goodness" for "Free." (0+ / 0-)

    Google knows virtually every key stroke we make.  FB, like everything else on the 'tubes, is Googlefied.  They know everything, too.  And, yes... Google, FB, Twitter, you-name-it, will rifle thru your computer files and other "social media" sites to find out who's not on your "List" and why you should add them to it.
    The "price" for playing.

  •  I'm ex-Army... (0+ / 0-) I use social media to keep in contact with family and my old military buddies literally scattered all over the world. It's a tool that if used properly can be extremely useful. Plus it saves me a ton on postage (hell, haven't written an actual letter in years), a ton on long distance (because calling Europe, Asia, and South America would be super expensive), and it's fun to catch up with old friends.

    To each their own, though. I mean, people could unplug from all of that and do their own thing. But if you've got a cell phone, the government is already up in your business. If you live in a big city, there's probably CCTV keeping track of everyone. If you drive and an E-PASS type device in your car, there's another way Big Brother is keeping track of you. ATM cameras.  Credit card/debit card purchases. It's getting nearly impossible to live "off the grid". In fact, it probably is impossible at this point.

    There needs to be legislation to maintain more privacy, but until the DiFi's are replaced with privacy advocates/supporters in Congress, we're stuck.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 01:01:36 AM PST

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