After much cajoling from my brothers and I, my father finally relented and created a Facebook account. With nothing but the most basic information in his profile, he sent me a message saying, "Ok, I have facebook... now what?"
I told him that now he needs to put up a picture and search for old friends.
He responded the next day with the following: "A picture? I don't think so. I don't think this was a good idea."
My father promptly disabled his account - presumably never to access it again.
Okay, so if more Facebook users were like my dad they wouldn't be Facebook users for long. I DO think that they should be MORE like my father in his awareness of the awesome - and potentially terrible - power that Facebook has to share information.
For example, I do not use any third party applications. From the moment they came out I steered clear. Generally this is pretty easy to do. I have no desire to SuperPoke someone when a good old fashioned poke will suffice. Nor do I feel the need to have a graffiti wall, or a specific bookshelf (after all, my favorite books are listed just above) and I certainly don't want to compete in an online Rocham-bull competition - although I'm remarkably good at the game for it's supposedly being a game of luck.
Even the one application that has seriously tempted me, Scrabulous, is being taken care of by Hasbro and Mattel.
Why am I so loathe to allow myself the simple pleasures of third party applications?
Because I don't want third parties mucking around with my profile and information.
This article validates my paranoia.
The vast majority of Facebook applications take your data - with Facebook's permission - to their own servers unnecessarily. They don't need much - if any - private data and yet cull the entirety of your Facebook profile for their diabolical purposes.
What are those purposes specifically?
The multitude of hypothetical answers to that question is why I don't use third party apps.
I've gotta run, my dad and I are going to play a game of REAL Scrabble...