When will people realize that these “social networking” companies have NEVER been about improving YOUR social network, but using your interest in doing so to line THEIR pockets? Consider that they allow you to choose what YOU do with your information, but not what THEY choose to do with it. Consider as well the ongoing insistence upon YOU giving up more and more of your privacy so THEY can more effectively package and sell you and your choices, activities, and interests to their real customer(s) – marketers and advertisers.
This is not social networking, folks, it is predatory networking. A social network is not parasitic; it is symbiotic — it enables and empowers without restricting choice — it cares about and conforms to the concerns and risks of its members — it places itself neither above nor below its members — it serves them as it is served by them.
Really take a moment to think about the nature of effective symbiotic relationships and then, realize, none of these powerhouses of personal data meet that description; whenever your interest conflicts with their interests, you lose.
Predatory networks are not difficult to spot; they are evident at the first instance of ignoring your needs in favor of their own. People need to become wiser about this, they need to understand that the convenience and fun of it all come with a very hefty price tag that has been (until recently) cleverly hidden under slick interfaces, games, and clever marketing campaigns designed to build your trust.
Caveat Emptor, friend.
More thoughts on the difference between social and predatory networks here: http://wp.me/pJ8Wt-1B0