I showed restraint and stopped myself from reading "Kelly Osbourne's New Tattoo Is In The Most Unlikely Place," "This Is When It's Okay to Look For Sex Outside Your Marriage" and the blog about a woman who slept with 10,000 men and made $1,000 an hour at an escort service. Facebook would have found out, putting me at risk of being repeatedly encouraged to read more about Kelly Osbourne, cheating and hookers. If my husband were to spot that, he'd probably say that finding out your mate has such shabby interests is when it's okay to look for sex outside your marriage.
Facebook is anything but discreet. To help a girlfriend who'd asked where I got my green sandals, I did an online search looking for the best price. Months later, Zappo ads are still popping up. Each time I lose at Scramble with Friends, Facebook rushes to announce it. Today, things got worse as we found out that Facebook allowed people to study more than 600,000 of us to see if we have different emotional reactions to reading negative vs. positive postings. In January of 2012, they edited what appeared on the page and may be why I almost lashed out at a Facebook friend who never stopped kvetching.
The study supported that users in the fewer-happy-posts group ended up posting in a more negative manner while those in the fewer-sad-posts group did the opposite. They concluded that moods are affected by the nature of the posts we'd read. Before I could screen my FB friends to eliminate the depressives, the findings were disputed and we moved on to question the ethics of Facebook violating our privacy and manipulating our page feeds.
Bottom line, most agreed, is that Facebook has been playing with us all along, pointing out that we'd allowed them to mess with our news feeds and use us for advertising purposes. Facebook is the friend we love to hate, the one who can't wait to broadcast the secret you shared, prefacing it with, "Don't tell anyone." Remember kids doing a mocking imitation and saying, "This is you?" Facebook is the new, "This is you."
Follow Sybil Adelman Sage on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SybSage