Why I Quit Facebook and Am Not Looking Back


Why I Quit Facebook and Am Not Looking Back

10 January 2010 at 10:28:10 PM

I probably wouldn\'t be saying anything at all about not leaving it, except that I\'ve had three people that have asked me if I specifically dropped them from my friends list. They didn\'t realize that NOBODY is now on my friends list because I\'m not on FB. I explained to each that it was definitely nothing personal about them, but I didn\'t want to be on Facebook anymore.

Here\'s my prime motivator. I joined FB a year or two ago but was never really on it. Didn\'t care for the interface at the time. I did like the idea that it was a private environment, where only those you invited to be your friends would be part of your circle. I wondered at the time how FB made money.

About 6 months or so ago, I decided to really kick the tires. I wanted to have a way to have a private circle with, initially, my kin. That worked out fine, and then I wanted to invite some of my closest friends. That offended my brother, who felt that the terms of who was in our circle had changed. Then I wanted to invite old classmates, others I knew from other venues, etc. At some point a couple of months ago, FB began taunting my loved ones "So and So doesn\'t have many friends, why don\'t you help her have more". Sheesh. Or "Your Elderly Aunt is only using X percentage of her usage, help her out". I thought, No, my aunt can do what she wants. If she wants to have 5 family members and that\'s it, I"m not going to make her feel that she is virtually friendless! Who cares? Obviously, FB did.

I invited one of my cousins to be a friend. That brought out one of the unpleasant, in my view, aspects of FB, which is that, at least at that time, everything you posted was available to everyone who was your friend. In other words, in real life, at least for me, it isn\'t that I"m a different person with each person I interact with, it\'s that I might be exposing a different aspect of my personality or different interests, based on who the person was and my relationship with him or her. But with FB posting, every post was available for every person to see. I didn\'t want to see some stuff my cousin was posting everyday constantly and she felt the same about me. Neither of us wanted to *hide* the other person, but she defriended me because we had some very different opinions about religion. But, see, the thing is, that if we had been having this conversation via the telephone, or in person, we might have avoided the subject, or changed it, or whatever. Here\'s an article that expresses he nature of this artificial sharing.

"...the privacy architecture of Facebook destroys contextual integrity, because almost every aspect of its design directly conflicts with norms of distribution." Peterson writes. "The way information flows through Facebook is nothing at all like the way information flows through the corporeal world. It is an \'environment that is fundamentally unnatural, in conflict with the one we evolved to live in.\' This tension between individual and environment causes the most common privacy problems experienced by members of Facebook...Facebook is a \'system that communicates everything to everyone at the same time\' and in the same space."

I knew people were reading my posts but I didn\'t generally get a lot of comments .. until I quit. Then I found out how many people were reading me daily. heh.

But here\'s the deal. One of the main reasons I joined FB was not in order to have a million zillion *friends*. I have a lot of people that I talk with in person, or on the phone, or via text messaging, or email. FB was simply not the only available option. I wanted to have the ability to keep my friends and groups I joined private. But one day, about 3 weeks ago or so, the owner of FB decided that, in order to get more revenue from advertising and make the site more marketable, he would change the rules about privacy. He decided to add information to search engines, and make everyone\'s friends and groups they belonged to easily available for anyone to see. That entirely changed the terms under which I even WANTED to be on FB. So I quit.

I was reading an item today from ReadWriteWeb in which Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, says that the age of privacy is over... AS A JUSTIFICATION FOR CHANGING THE BASIS FOR HIS SOCIAL MEDIA>

First the company kept user data siloed inside its site alone, saying that a high degree of user privacy would make users comfortable enough to share more information with a smaller number of trusted people.

Now that it has 350 million people signed up and connected to their friends and family in a way they never have been before - now Facebook decides that the initial, privacy-centric, contract with users is out of date. That users actually want to share openly, with the world at large, and incidentally (as Facebook\'s Director of Public Policy Barry Schnitt told us in December) that it\'s time for increased pageviews and advertising revenue, too.

Well, that\'s me. I feel a little bit like the victim of a bait and switch. I joined FB *because* of the privacy factors, and now the philosophy has changed, as if it were me that was wrong for wanting a private media source in the first place.. when it was part and parcel. There isn\'t anyone that I had on FB as a friend or relative that I don\'t keep in contact with some other way and I feel a certain amount of relief about it. Why? Because I\'m now back to natural friendships and conversations that are as varied, private, personal or interactive as I want them to be. FB was entirely too artificial.

I don\'t think I will be going back on just to see if it ever changes. There are lots of ways, in this diverse information age, to communicate and keep in touch with others. Buh-Bye, Facebook!

Update: just read of yet another way Facebook exploits its willing sheep

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