Last week, my friend and I were on the phone talking about how we both have MySpace and Facebook profiles...and how we have no idea what the rules are when it comes to it. We're not sure when we're "in a relationship" or when to say "it's complicated."
Also on that note, a guy I had just met the weekend prior sent me an e-mail and said "I have to admit I looked you up on Facebook, but then I was afraid to add you in case that might be a bit stalkerish." I could only laugh. What is desperately needed is an etiquette book.
But on a more serious note, when I replied I said "well, I won't mind - it's on the Internet after all. It's not like you snooped through my knickers drawer." And that's just the point. So many people forget that everything they put on the Internet could possibly be viewed by anyone - even if they think their profile is private. Joe Recomendes blogged about just that this week here:
The same friend that was talking to me about the rules and etiquette of networking sites made a great point. He mentioned that once he wanted to send a message to a friend but their profile was private and didn't allow messages. But then later he was viewing another friend's page, and the same person with the private profile had posted their phone number in the comments - so he just called them!
In response to my last post, and to what Joe mentions, listing too much information makes you vulnerable. With a little craft, an identity thief only needs your name, address and phone number and can often find the other information they need...
Visual cognizance is a funny thing. The old adage "out of sight, out of mind" reminds me that many people only see the person's picture of the page they're posting on and forget that the Internet is a huge domain and anyone, anywhere could see your information. If you wouldn't reply to a spammer with your phone number, I suggest you not place it on anyone's profile page either.