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article imageOp-Ed: Does staying off Facebook make you a suspicious person?

article:330704:29::0
By Leigh Goessl     Aug 13, 2012 in Internet
A psychologist in Germany has suggested people that do not have Facebook accounts are "suspicious" individuals. And the psychologist may not be alone in his thinking.
Reportedly, hiring organizations and even dating advice givers are claiming if a person does not have a Facebook account, this could be a red flag about the individual.
An article recently appeared in the German magazine site Der Tagesspiegel that described how the German psychologist noted accused theatre shooter James Holmes and Norwegian mass murder Anders Behring Breivik both did not have a Facebook account.
Since both men were largely invisible on the web, researchers suggest that abstinence online may indicate there is a problem.
"The Internet has become a natural part of life," says psychologist Christopher Moeller Hanover [translated from Google Translate].
Employer interest in Facebook accounts, or lack of
We already know that employers are very interested in the Facebook accounts of job applicants and employees. Over the past several months employers asking, and in some cases demanding, the passwords of applicants/employees has been a controversial issue. This hot issue even brought Facebook itself into the debate where the company warned employers about asking users for passwords.
Allegedly, not only do employers want to access Facebook accounts, but employers are reportedly suspicious of applicants that do not have a Facebook account as well.
"No Facebook profile, no job offer," said Der Tagesspiegel in its report.
Facebook and the dating scene
A Forbes article points to a piece on Slate.com which suggests potential red flags if an individual is dating, or considering dating, another person that doesn't have a Facebook page.
One theory is while some people use the network to create an identity, others may intentionally stay off the network with their real name so they can more easily hide their true selves when cheating on a significant other.
Does not having a Facebook account really make someone 'suspicious'?
The Daily Mail theorizes, "And this is what the argument boils down to: It's the suspicion that not being on Facebook, which has become so normal among young adults, is a sign that you're abnormal and dysfunctional, or even dangerous, ways."
The Internet has become a natural part of life, but isn't it a bit too far to say that staying off the social network makes one a suspicious individual, or worse, a mass murderer? After all, there are other reasons why people might opt to stay off certain technologies or networks.
Forbes also pointed out the addiction factor with technology, including Blackberries, smartphones and various social media platforms. Due to the interference in "real life", some people actually do decide to give up their smartphones, Facebook or other technology vice.
What do you think? Is abstaining from Facebook a sign an individual is "suspicious" or dysfunctional? Could not having a presence on the network truly cost an otherwise well-qualified person that coveted job?
Or could it simply be some people value their privacy? Or maybe they're just hanging out on LinkedIn, Google+ or some other network.
While Facebook is seemingly everywhere, isn't it actually possible not everything is rooted in or revolves around the network?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
article:330704:29::0
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