On Networking Sites, Learning How Not to Share

Publication: The New York Times

Author: Riva Richmond

01/28/2009 - Your boss saw pictures of you drunk at last Saturday’s party. An old flame found out you’re seeing someone else. The nosy neighbor discovered you were laid off.

These and many other uncomfortable scenes are repeated daily on social networking sites, where millions of people now gather to share the details of their lives with, well, practically anyone they’ve ever known — and quite a few people they don’t know at all.

Like well-behaved kindergartners, we love to share. And Web sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn have grown hugely popular by making sharing bigger, faster, easier and awfully fun. With so many people participating — 35 percent of Internet users in the United States aged 18 or over now use an online social network, according to a December survey by the Pew Internet Project — life on these sites can be very rich. Yet, evidence of your nocturnal exploits, ill-considered comments and business secrets can also go global in an instant.

Read the full article On Networking Sites, Learning How Not to Share on New York Times' Web site.

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