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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Do you Facebook?

Posted Monday, January 18, 2010, at 9:41 PM

I can't remember when I first joined the popular social networking site called "Facebook," but it's been recently enough that I still consider myself a novice. I admit that the overwhelming reason for my joining was that I heard there were pictures of my grandchildren posted in that location. And, remarkably, Facebook is how my family discovered that one of my daughters-in-law was pregnant. Girls tell their Facebook friends everything.

It's a new world! By 2009 there were 321 million people, world-wide, on Facebook, which has largely replaced "My Space," as I understand it.

The appeal of the website is understandable. There is the siren song of quick access to your friends and relatives across the world. You can snap the new baby's picture and immediately post it on Facebook for all the relatives to see.

You can click over on the right margin and find all kinds of games to play and surveys to take. You can encourage your friends to play the games with you for added fun.

So popular is this amazing social tool that various organizations and businesses are jumping on board. I recently joined the facebook site for a local newspaper and a television station. The television station gives me access to news that I haven't been able to receive since the "Big Switch" switched me into the world of the unknowing and unseeing.

However, there are some worrisome aspects to this seemingly super-friendly "back-yard" approach to getting in touch with your friends.

For one thing, I just received an email advertisement from one of the restaurants that we were talking about on the Cape Girardeau Facebook page. Did I ask for that? I didn't, but it would seem that I opened myself up for it by clicking "become a fan."

I've also heard of Facebook fans having their computers infected with a virus. From what I gather, this can happen when you click on some of those cute applications at the right of the page.

There are even more sinister plots to watch for. In doing some research on the topic, I discovered several scams:

* The Nigerian 419 -- I first heard of this scam when my sister told me of getting an urgent e-mail from a friend, who said he was somewhere in Europe and needed money to get home. She had just attended a party at his house, so she called him and discovered that several of his friends had received the same message. Turns out that he had received a fake request from Yahoo.com to "update" his email account. When he did, a scammer hijacked his address book and sent out the phoney requests for money. The same decades-old scam has been adapted to Facebook.

* The Widget Warrior -- These are third-party applications that you can add onto your account. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't always check these applications before posting them in their system. Some of the applications install spyware on your computer when you click on them.

* The Koobface Virus --- This is an anagram of "Facebook." When the virus infects your PC, it sends messages or wall postings to your Facebook friends, directing them to a "hilarious video" of someone you know. When you click on it, malware is installed on your computer.

* The Phishing Pond -- This is a favorite hacker tactic, whereby you are led to click on various links, which lead you to an official Facebook login prompt. It asks you to enter your user name and password. If you do, they have all your account information. You should instead go back to the original Facebook page and log in manually. Don't trust a request to login in the middle of a session.

I'm sure there are hundreds more schemes, whereby hackers and scammers misuse Facebook and other social networking sites.

Over and over, the advice is to be vigilant, suspicious, and wary in dealing with Facebook and any other social site. One woman may even face jail time, because she sent a "poke" to another woman who had a protection order against her.

So cautious am I that I wouldn't even join a group designed to count the number of Christians on Facebook.

Still, is it worth it to see those darling faces of my children and grandchildren? What'd you think??

From the dark, cold hills of remote Tillman, Missouri, this is your rural roving reporter, checking out Facebook before she pops off to bed.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I admit I am a recent addict of Facebook. I have reconnected with lots of DHS graduates, as well as family. I agree we all need to be very cautious about the links, but I am loving it for the most part.

-- Posted by BarbaraNTexas on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 7:27 AM

I agree! I just had a conversation with a girl I knew in 1964 -- my husband and I rented a basement apartment to her when she was in college -- she saw me on another site. It was so good to reconnect with her!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 7:44 AM

I'm on Facebook but I am even cautious about information I give to old friends because they may not be that same sweet, loveable, honest person you knew 20-30 years ago

-- Posted by mythought on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 7:56 AM

It's a nice way to communicate, I'm sorry but I refuse to 'poke anyone, even return a poke', play any games, help a poor animal on one of your farms, vote on anyone or anything, join any group supporting any cause, sorry, just not worth the risk.

-- Posted by changedname on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 7:56 AM

Human Resourse Departments and College Admission Officers are using Facebook as part of the background check on applicants. Many young people are careless about what they post on their page i.e. lewd pics of themselves in "party mode" which does not line up with the resume they have submitted. More than a few job offers and offers of admission to colleges have been rescinded after viewing social networking sites according to reports....Just an interesting side note in this brave new world of instant communication.

-- Posted by cheers4dhs on Tue, Jan 19, 2010, at 11:31 AM

I've read this and heard it on the news. Kids so often don't think about the ramifications of their actions. What seems "cool" when you're young, can be the height of irresponsibility when you look back on it later.

Once you post something, it's public property, and you can't retract it!

That goes for comments, too: I don't know how many comments I erase before I hit the "save" button!! I'm always soooo glad!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 9:34 AM

Good Morning GL - I can't tell you how many times I have quickly written a comment in response to another comment and then deleted it before it was sent. Like you, I am always glad I deleted my comment.

-- Posted by cheers4dhs on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 9:58 AM

Every computer should have a LARGE delete button above the Enter Key.

-- Posted by changedname on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 10:22 AM

MD,et al., I've been on Facebook for a bit now, and have all nieces, nephews, Brother, daughter,future son-in-law, grandson, and both exes on the Friends List...It is a Hoot, BUT, watch those linkages, uploads, downloads, etc. Would like to connect to any DHS 65-66 grads, and others from "down home".....youngest nephew is getting married in March and I plan on going out to Gilbert for the occasion, see everyone and have a blast......saw his future bride on FB, as well as JJ and Kayla's first boy on the page....sweet!!!!!!later, kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 2:31 PM

Of course, I do Facebook, both exe's, little brother and his brood, daughter and grandson, family tree list, assorted friends, in-laws, a few outlaws, all over the country, would like to hear from fellow Bearcats, DHS 65-66, if you're out there, lots of stuff on FB, watch the linkages CLOSELY for phishing, virae, etc..have fun, later, kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 2:56 PM

Some good has come from sharing with facebook friends, that's for sure. It can rob you of real life though, unless you know how to walk away. I am not interested in anybody's farm animals or kitchen recipes etc. on games. It is nice that they can be hidden!

Goat Lady, it's too bad I don't know how to find you on facebook. That might just be a fun way to communicate. (tee hee)

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 5:43 PM

I love Facebook for re-connecting with old friends and keeping up with my former students. I "lurk" a lot, I don't click on fun stuff that could be dangerous, and I really enjoy seeing everybody's pictures!

I re-connected with my roommate from college and now we Skype at least once a week. It's fun!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 7:09 PM

Okay, lovebooks, what is skyping? Is it the same as instant messaging? By the way, do you still not know who I am? Ha!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 7:15 PM

I would like to know about "skyping," too!

Yeah, it's too bad, gonenow. We could have some nice long talks. (hehe)

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 20, 2010, at 10:02 PM

GONENOW and goat lady...something our newspaper down here does is offer the commenters a way to send a private message to another commenter...don't know how it is set up, but it's really cool...and I have had several people contact me through there and we exchanged our real names and email addresses and now have become real friends. Dont know what it would entail or if the Statesman wants to offer that to it's readers/commenters, but you might check with Corey, Maddie, or Bobby...

-- Posted by BarbaraNTexas on Thu, Jan 21, 2010, at 7:37 AM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
Well, I know that several people have contacted me through the e-mail address I have posted here with my biography, and I AM on Facebook (the NSC site), so we can connect like that, but I'm not sure about letting you guys have access to each other's true identities, after some of the knock-down-drag-out battles ya'll have had on here! I know a certain dead rocker who might not make it out alive!!

Good Morning GL and GONENOW - skyping is a free download that allows you free calls, including long distance, over your computer to another computer or landline. If you both have webcam on your computer you can also see each other while you talk in real time. Go to www.skype.com for info. It is free. Cheers

-- Posted by cheers4dhs on Thu, Jan 21, 2010, at 11:37 AM

My wife got on Facebook last March, I haven't seen her since.

-- Posted by mythought on Thu, Jan 21, 2010, at 12:20 PM

Talking sounds great--SEEING is quite another story, considering the way I am usually outfitted at the computer desk. My "friends" might not want to be if they could see through this screen!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Thu, Jan 21, 2010, at 3:52 PM

Hahahahaha! Mythought, you are a RASCAL! You know that's not true! (but it sure is funny!)

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jan 21, 2010, at 6:49 PM

I did see her yesterday, when she smacked me after hearing about that post. LOL

-- Posted by mythought on Fri, Jan 22, 2010, at 10:20 AM

I had a Facebook account for a few months last year. I used it mainly to keep in touch with friends and relatives and to promote some of my opinions.

Since I'm not an opinionated person, it was hard to promote my political and religious beliefs. I can keep in contact with friends and relatives via my cell phone and email. Besides that, I had so many blog accounts, I couldn't keep up with them all, so I finally closed my Facebook account. Now you can read my blogs at http://profiles.yahoo.com/blog/2IM2TLQHM...

-- Posted by swift on Fri, Jan 22, 2010, at 3:59 PM

Pardon me while I choke for about 15 minutes before I catch my breath! "not an opinionated person"? Surely you jest! You "promote your political and religious beliefs" to anyone who'll stand still long enough to hear you! I used to think you were balanced and fair, but it's been a LONG time since I deluded myself in such a fashion.

I guess life is all about "promoting your political and religious beliefs," isn't it? Heaven forbid you should ever have a normal, friendly conversation with someone just for the joy of sharing what it is to be a human being on this troubled earth!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jan 22, 2010, at 10:09 PM

Wow, thanks gl for your post, I searched my dictionary high and low for 'opinionated' and never saw Swift's name.

-- Posted by changedname on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 6:01 AM

I'm sorry, GL! Yes, that was in jest! And.. I have normal converstions many times without bringing up my religious/political beliefs. In fact, I do try to be fair and balanced. I don't believe my beliefs are always right. In fact, many of my friends and relatives don't hold to some of my beliefs.

Actually, my real reason for cancelling my Facebook account had to do with influence. There were those who could not undrestand how I could have a social network account while holding to my denominational rule of "no internet in the home, church or church run school". I do want to be consistent and donot want to be a hindrance to anybody's spiritual walk. And while I'm on this topic.

GL, please forgive me for seeming to be intolerant of others. I truly want to be unbiased, but you know as well as I do that there are biased liberals on such networks as MSNBC.

-- Posted by swift on Sat, Jan 23, 2010, at 1:17 PM

I appreciate your humility, swift. I know there are "unbiased liberals" in the media, but that's no excuse for their opponents to overreact in the opposite direction.

When you offer your opinions in a calm, measured, reasonable manner, your position is much more persuasive than it is when you approach the "fanatic" phase.

Dexterite, alias "changed name," I also appreciate your defense for our right-wing friend, even though I know you often voice your disagreement with his views.

It's a pleasure to be able to talk to each other in a rational manner.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I think I see the sun!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 8:38 AM

Sorry I didn't explain Skype...we've been on a train going to Arizona from Missouri with no Internet connection onboard! Beautiful trip and one to take if you ever get the chance.

Skype.com is a free "see the person you're talking to" download that makes it FUN to talk to your grandbaby long distance, free. It's wonderful to see your sister, niece, etc. on a weekly basis, and the audio/video is excellent quality.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 12:01 PM

This is very new technology and most of us don't know what it is. Do I assume that you "skype" from a laptop?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 1:31 PM

Oh my gl, I am completely confused, in no way could I ever defend Swift, I can see where my comment was confusing, I lately recognize his rantings and like the other 2 folks,,,,completely ignore all posts. Swift is about unopinionated as Rush!!!!

-- Posted by changedname on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 2:47 PM

GL, Skype is an Internet telephone service. With a high-speed connection the sound quality is OK. Dial-up is too slow, and while Skype works with a Wi-Fi connection, the sound quality is about like it was in 1910 ... crackling, dead spots, squeaky voices, etc. Skype's website is, http://www.skype.com/

I know several people who have gotten rid of their land line phone and only use Skype at home. Keep in mind that Comcast is an Internet telephone service, as in Vonage. That is why they don't always work so good in connecting to 911.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Jan 24, 2010, at 5:25 PM

A couple of comments about Skype.

It's a world-wide service. I have used it to call England and parts of Europe. The sound quality is generally superb. Regretably, I don't have any US contacts.

If you elect to have a camera connection there are some monitors which have a camera attached - these can be of varying quality as is the built-in microphone. If you need to buy a webcam, go for as good as you can afford. The cheaper ones are generally a waste of money. Any good computer retailer should be able to help you set up.

-- Posted by wartz on Mon, Jan 25, 2010, at 1:30 AM

thanks GL and Changed name! Hope you two reply to the new "On the Street" question.

-- Posted by swift on Mon, Jan 25, 2010, at 4:18 PM

No thanks Swift, tired of being called names,,,,have fun the rest of you.

-- Posted by changedname on Mon, Jan 25, 2010, at 5:23 PM

PLEASE, don't bring politics to MD's post. If you care for decent folks, don't bring politics here.

-- Posted by changedname on Mon, Jan 25, 2010, at 5:26 PM

That's sweet, CN. I'm sure she appreciates it.

Anyway, swift, just for you -- I posted a comment on the street.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jan 25, 2010, at 5:30 PM

gl, I didn;t know you could be so mean...........Cosmo, oh boy,,,,proud of you.

-- Posted by changedname on Mon, Jan 25, 2010, at 6:33 PM

Well, it's a fact, swift! I saw it with my own two eyes!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Jan 25, 2010, at 9:39 PM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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