Just when we think we have a handle on a social networking, along comes another virtual gimmick to figure out. In this case Places is a Facebook mobile phone application designed to follow you around using the phone’s GPS, let people know where you are, and significantly reduce your privacy. Keeping a tight lid on anything tweens and younger adolescents do with Places will be a priority for parents this fall. A couple of suggestions…
- Make Facebook Places a discussion topic and figure out a good time to talk with your family. Privacy is a concern, so don’t delay. With the start of the school year only a few weeks off, children with mobile smart phones will most likely try to make Places a part of their Facebook activities.
- Think about the general Facebook and specific Places guidelines that you want to set for students in your family. Do this now, before Places becomes ingrained in the adolescent culture.
Adults who use a mobile phone with Facebook will probably want to disable Places completely or at least limit access to Friends Only, since most of us do not want to be followed around virtually, even by our friends. I have limited access in my Facebook account.
Below are links to resources that will help you disable Places. These articles provide background as well as give specific instructions.
- How to Disable Facebook Places – Read Write Web
- Disable Facebook’s Places – Wired Magazine Wiki
- Face Book Places Privacy Settings – Rob Pegoraro, Washington Post Help File blog
- Watch a video – made by Rob Pegoraro, see blog posting just above
- Avoid Being Outed on Facebook Places – Larry Magid, Huffington Post
- The Facebook Places Feature You Need to Turn Off – Rebecca Greenfield, The Atlantic
- Facebook Checks In to the World of Locations – Walter Mossberg, Wall Street Journal
- How to Protect Your Privacy on Facebook Places – Electronic Frontier Foundation