Monday, August 5, 2013

Defaults are not good (in social media)

Often I like working with defaults in software. My job is easier, and as I change machines or reinstall something, the behavior of the system is familiar. When defaults are set well, they work really well.

When they aren’t well set, however, there are issues and the software can be jarring to use.

In social media applications, there are various defaults set. Many of these are privacy related defaults which are usually set to the loosest, or least private, settings available. This is to the benefit of the company, and that makes sense. I’ve set defaults like this in the past.

However for some of us, this isn’t what we want. Especially when we look at our professional careers.

Be careful with defaults and spend a few minutes setting them. As an example, I maintain presences on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, I have open settings, where my posts and images are viewable by all. I understand that and consider it before posting.

On Facebook, I’ve set all my privacy options to limit exposure to the friends I’ve linked with. I post things that I don’t want to associate with my professional career, or with people I don’t know. Those are conscious decisions because I don’t want everything I post to be available to my employers. To me, these are items I share in my backyard, not in a public park.

Make your own decisions, but make them consciously and beware of defaults.

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