Do you really need “cyber friends”?  Do you really need to show the world who your friends are in order to validate them, or who you are? Is the time spend gawking at or on facebook, with all the amazing things to do out in the physical (or even virtual) world today, really time well spent rather than not just wasted away?

High School was cool.  But Facebook is turning us into one really, really bad high school.  Virtually.

But it gets worse. Facebook also now, apparently, has taints of Big Brother, and is only helping to further, very slowly, lead us there.

The employee claims that everything you do is not only permanently stored and saved, but completely available to Facebook staff and associates.  The site….has expectedly and deservedly retaliated to the whistleblower claims, and has dismissed the supposed revelations as common knowledge with which all Facebook members should be completely familiar.

Speaking to the Rumpus, the Facebook worker asserted that when a member makes “any sort of interaction on Facebook — upload a photo, click on somebody’s profile, update your status, change your profile information,” that activity is stored on Facebook’s servers. In order to identify a member’s “best friends,” a feature which quietly debuted recently, the site tracks and stores (at one of four massive data centers) every possible interaction. All Facebook countered by saying this practice is “widely known,” and that “if you don’t want Facebook collecting information about you, don’t give it to them.” (Excellent customer service — MySpace would be thrilled if Facebook adhered to an official “take it or leave it” approach.)

One of the most troubling revelations in the anonymous interview is the claim that any Facebook employee could log into any member account with a single master password (which was some derivation of Chuck Norris — not so funny in this scenario). The shadowy interviewee also said that various employees (at least two of whom were terminated) were caught inappropriately using that password to gain access to accounts.

Note that Facebook says they have a “zero tolerance” policy toward employee snooping.  As if they wouldn’t, but would instead say to their employees: “Facebook employees, please use company time to view private Facebook data that is not supposed to be available to the public” for your own sordid creepiness or other social spying, just so we can purposefully freak people and undermine their confidence in us even more.”  Of course Facebook has a zero tolerance policy.

Where did this idea come from that just because society gets “advanced” that privacy should be given up? Our Supreme Courts have wrestled with the idea of privacy as an inherent right — is it never necessarily spelled out literally in the Constitution.  But if one goes back to the time when this rather sparse, government and power limiting founding document was crafted, it is easy to see that the idea was perhaps considered so simple as to be taken for granted within all mentions of liberty within that document.

So what happened? What happened to us that we are so desperate to who are “friends” are in some cyber world non reality, and tell the entire world what our favorite songs are, that are we are going along with this rat pack march toward cyber big brother?

Remember last year when Facebook briefly instituted a policy (before uproar caused slight modifications, we assume) that essentially gave it unlimited ownership right to anything you ever put on there, irrevocably, and in perpetuity — that is, forever?

That should have been a warning sign. That should have been a warning sign not just about Facebook, but about what we are doing.  It might not seem like much now; but in ten, fifteen, twenty five years, when we ask “how did we get here, what did we do to produce this?” we will find some of our answers in the present, right now, as we flock like sheep to this privacy destroying, soul sapping, false socially validating online big brother like out of a really bad dork nerd I so want to be liked high school B class movie.

Get a grip. Give up Facebook.  If you are using it to network, or get ideas or links across, there are plenty of other, less Big Brother like, less intrusive, and less socially vacuous and enervating ways to do so.  Just because we become advanced as a society doesn’t mean we need to jump into every single mass conglomeration idea of immediate online “self verification” that comes down the pike. And ultimately, while it might provide some information for you or that you want to share, that is all Facebook is.

There’s a real world out there.  Explore it. While that’s not necessarily an argument to ignore computers or virtual world possibilities, it is certainly a strong argument to ignore the worst of those two categories. And Facebook falls into that category, several notches below porn.

And that’s pretty low.

What makes Facebook worse than porn, is that porn is not a “prisoners dilemma” problem.  The more people use Facebook, the more it supplants other, more beneficial, positive means of social reinforcement, interaction, and information sharing.  And the more others then feel compelled to also partake, or “miss out,” thereby leading to even more amassed corporate Big Brother overseeing over more and more private and minute details of each and every one of your — our — lives.

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