The US National Security Agency’s data collection methods have come under scrutiny lately. In case you haven’t heard, a disgruntled US patriot decided to share the ugliest slideshow in the world (seriously, it’s bad) with the media. The uglyshow showed how the NSA used our favourite social media services to collect data about us.

You read that right, the NSA knows about all those times you creeped your ex on Facebook. Horrifying, I know. But how does it affect you? Why should you care? Well it turns out they have might have direct access to this data, so they probably know a lot. Every tweet, like, or +1 you’ve given since 2008 has been tracked, cataloged, and profiled.

I like to believe that when your well-meaning but exceptionally irritating cousin posts, “!Liv lif 2 da foolest!!!!!”, there is a super-smart, highly paid NSA agent reading it stroking his chin considering how this fits into the vast landscape of your life.

I assume all of these tidbits of our lives are prized by the NSA. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? Now let’s consider what this might mean to some of the different kinds of people we find on Facebook:

The “Too much information, thanks” Guy

This person shares every detail about every thing they do. Especially if it involves bodily function. Right now  an NSA agent is detailing to his superiors with an awful slideshow the amount of time Mr. Too Much Info has spent on the toilet.

The “Activist”

Everyone has an inner activist. No matter how trifling or misguided the cause, everyone has something. That time you spread the word about how 9/11 was an “Inside Job”. Yeah, the NSA knows about that now. Time to go under ground.

The New Mom

I don’t think there is a person on Earth without at least a couple of these in their mix of friends. These gentle ladies post everything about their child, from what they eat to what they excrete. The NSA finds this useful because they need to stay on top of the next generation of dangerous possible terrorists.

The Quitter

This person likes to tell everyone they’re going to quit Facebook in a dramatic huff only to eventually and predictably retract their statement, thanking everyone for their support. This person irritates me and I bet they irritate you too. I mean, except if this person is you. If so, congratulations! You finally have a real reason to stop using Facebook.

I hope this post helps put things into perspective. As you can see from my list above, there are real lives touched by NSA spying. If you think of other kinds of people on social media are affected by NSA spying, let us know in the comments.

Big Brother image copyright © 1984 20th Century Fox (UK)