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TMI Facebook, TMI.
By Kel on Tuesday 01 May 2012
I was really surprised when I read about the news this morning that Facebook has added the option for you to display that you are an organ donor on your personal Facebook page.
The addition of a health and wellness section to your profile, allows you to identify that you are an organ donor, include the official registry you are on, and even a story about why you decided to be an organ donor.
The hope is that creating this awareness will potentially help more than 114,000 people in the US and millions of others around the world whom are in need of live-saving transplants. This concept seems fantastic, who wouldn’t want to raise awareness about it, especially if you're an advocate for organ doning.
This isn’t the only new feature of timeline though. There are many new areas under “Life Events” on your timeline, where you can go into specific categories, like health and wellness to mark points in your life that could include overcoming an illness, quitting a habit or getting glasses. Here’s another category, “Home and Living” where you can indicate when you moved, bought a home, made home improvement, bought a car and so on. My thoughts quickly went from "cool awareness" to "whoa TMI". Adding that you are an organ donor could have the potential to help others with social awareness, but I'm unsure of the benefit of publicly displaying some of the other information.
Plus, I have to wonder how this data is collected, analyzed etc, you must imagine to some extent it is. Will we run into issues with privacy, like we have with Google who’s come under so much fire recently?
You do have the choice to fill out the information and you don't have to unless you want to. Facebook hasn't made it mandatory and I doubt they ever would.
At some point the display of such personal information seems invasive to have on a social network. I don’t think many people would want others to know about aspects of their health and wellness, family and relationships, and so on via the web, even if it's surface information. As someone who began using the network when it was still exclusive to college students, and seemingly more private, I struggle with the shift of Facebook encouraging us to share more personal information.
What are your thoughts about where Facebook has been, where it is now and where it is heading? Do you see it as too much information or a great way to make new connections based on life experience? Personally, I see the good, the bad and the ugly in all of it. Share your thoughts below.
Source: Mashable; "Facebook Adds Organ Donor Option to Timeline" http://mashable.com/2012/05/01/facebook-organ-donor/