Facebook is very public, yet often people share very private details of their lives on Facebook. What people decide to share about their own lives is their choice. They may suffer the consequence of over-sharing, but it is their choice.
Lately I’ve grown increasingly concerned about people inadvertently “outing” other people who are going through a difficult time in their lives. I know people mean well, but sometimes you have to step back and think before you post.
You may want to express your sympathy or concern over a situation, but does your friend really want literally EVERY SINGLE Facebook friend to know he or she has cancer…or lost a baby…or broke up? My feeling is that until the person themselves says something publicly, you should send them a private message, call them – or heck, even put an actual physical sympathy card in the mail.
And Facebook privacy violations don’t even have to be that drastic. Many people are private. It’s not even the pub crawl pictures. It might be as simple as that they don’t want the whole world to know they were on vacation – or like to play poker – or took a day off of work to go golfing.
HERE’S THE GOLDEN RULE: Unless you 100% KNOW they don’t mind, before you tag people in a picture or post or write something about a sensitive subject on their wall, ask permission. Simple enough, right?