An Ode to People Quitting Facebook: Stop Drop and Roll

Bark - Bandwagon Jumping To all the people sharing sensitive information on Facebook, then responding with indignity, take a step back. Yes, Facebook has changed its user agreement (multiple times over the years), and moved towards some extremely questionable practices (instant personalization anyone?), but you’re sharing information on a *public network*. Facebook is a profit driven organization, and given its prime resource is the ridiculous amount of people who utilise the service and the vast amount of information it stores on them, these moves were almost inevitable. Facebook is not some zany religious organization out for the betterment of mankind (present stories involving a certain religion and children aside) – they’re out to make a buck.

So, when you share incriminating photos of yourself or post damning status updates (“cheating test” anyone?), take a step back, and ask yourself whether you would be comfortable with a perfect stranger seeing what you’ve posted. Take a step back, take a minute, and think. If you’re using Facebook to share inane status updates, really, what’s the harm? They may store them forever, but so what?

You could quit Facebook, like the multitude who signed up for QuitFacebookDay, but really, what’s the point? You could make a blog post about the injustices of Facebook, and leave the service as I’ve seen around the net (Downloadsquad), but again, you’re ultimately only limiting yourself. You’re trying to send a message to an organization which has more users than dollars you can ever conceivably hope to amass. According to Facebook, there are presently 400 million active users.

Why not practice the simple policy of only sharing information that you don’t mind strangers finding? Share the *minimum*. Why not merely use Facebook as a source to keep in touch with old friends who you may not speak with regularly? Why not use it as an information sharing tool, like twitter, for interesting things you find, or things you don’t mind sharing (go habs!)? Facebook can be a useful resource, if used with moderation and self-regulation.

The general reaction is warranted, but what people fail to remember is that they’re posting information to a publicly accessible network, owned by a profit driven organization. Use a little common sense, and Facebook may remain a rather useful tool. If you spend the fifteen-ish minutes to lockdown Facebook, this really shouldn’t be the cause for any mass exodus.

From a non-bandwagon-jumping land (where I shall continue to use Facebook),

Syd

P.S. If you’d like to check your Facebook security “score” or see how secure your profile is take a look at ProfileWatch and ReclaimPrivacy.

Header image courtesy of Bark – Bandwagon Jumping / CC BY 2.0

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Author: sylint

I'm a business analyst, working in Information Management and Information Technology. Technically, I'm a librarian, though I prefer to think of myself as professionally varied.

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