Monday, April 26, 2010

Not to be a Copycat or Anything, but I'm Leaving Too

Guess what? My friends can now spy on what music I listen too, and I can spy on them. No, Microsoft has not placed cameras in my house to see what radio stations I listen to. Pandora has teamed up with Facebook to strip users of their privacy and kill off whatever amount of respect the technology community has for the social networking company. Anyway, I was already pissed off because of the move, and then I saw Robert Kongisberg's (@kberg) post. So for the past hour or two I have been staring at my Facebook deactivation screen, pondering the various benefits and disadvantages to pressing the button. (Also, I figured I could copy this entire post into the Explain More box for them to read over, if they even look at that stuff.)

Unlike Robert, I do not like using Facebook. It is an absolute waste of my time and probably the bane of my existence. You see, Facebook is not only misusing its users: users are misusing Facebook. The informal Facebook message has come to replace email, creating yet another place I have to check for messages. My profile is another place to college-proof for next year, and Facebook is the page I often find myself at midnight trying to force myself upon boring homework. I do not think there is a single legitimate reason for me to be using Facebook. Some may argue: you have to connect with people! Seriously? Whatever friends I still speak to on Facebook are the ones I see everyday, and there is not a chance in the world that I would start friending strangers looking for a friend.

Now that there is no reason for me to even be using Facebook, the site has to go and worsen the situation by screwing over my privacy. Never in the history of technology has the idea of giving private information to third-parties without user permission sat so nicely with a company. You go to almost any online form today, and chances are you'll find a disclaimer at the bottom that says, "We will not disclose your information to third parties, because we like having people come to our website and we don't want to drive them away like Facebook is doing." (I may have exaggerated a little on that quote. :) ) As if it was not enough that Facebook has already defaulted our settings to public and temporarily owned all our information, now they have to do this to us. By this point in the post, I am just done with this stupidity.

After much consideration, I shall be following suit with Robert and deactivating my Facebook account. Maybe I'll return later when they realize exactly what they're doing to themselves, but for now, I'm out. And Robert makes a few good points that I cannot leave out. First, this is different than Twitter selling all of our tweets to a third-party company, because I tweet knowing very well that my information is public. What I do on Facebook is private, specifically private because that's how I want it. Second, he says why not stay on Facebook and educate people. But this is not about everybody's privacy, it's about my privacy. Furthermore, I doubt my friends would give up Facebook if I just asked them to. Another point I want to make is that yes, I could just go and change my privacy settings, but this move is too much of an insult from Facebook to ignore. I suggest you go and read Robert's post too, because he shares a lot of my sentiments.

1 comment:

  1. I too have left Facebook. They stepped over the line and onto our faces. Like you its simply not worth allowing people to control my personal data of the things I buy, where I go, or what movies I watch. It's not about the data. I might share the data with someone I just met. That's my bad. Someone else claiming they can control my data just because I use their site? No way. No how