The following was originally posted to my Facebook account. Since I’ll be deleting it, I needed a place for it to live. Here it is!
Hmmm. Yes. It IS time for a privacy checkup.
Over the last couple of years I have dramatically reduced my facebook/instagram usage. I have not experienced any negative repercussions as a result of this change. If anything the change has been overwhelmingly positive.
The idea behind facebook was to connect with family and friends. Based on my observations, I don’t know if we do that much anymore. If you look back at the platform 5-7 years ago, you saw a lot more comments and engagement around your posts. After years upon years of a never ending stream of posts and content, we’ve been relegated to the like/react button. The platform simply doesn’t do what it used to do – at least for me.
When you add to it the numerous privacy violations/missteps/poor judgement calls made by Facebook in an effort to keep eyeballs on this behemoth, it really does start to feel like enough.
If you’re curious about Facebook’s transgressions, here’s a link to a twitter search that might be worth thumbing through.
I realize the hypocrisy I’ve just engaged in. I told you I’m leaving facebook and sent you a link to twitter :). And it’s true, I use other social platforms – some with privacy concerns nearly as egregious. And yet I don’t plan on moving off of them (for now). But when I couple the shady practices at facebook with the fact that the platform provides almost no value to me, it just makes sense to move on.
I have hope for Twitter. Recently, Jack Dorsey announced plans to decentralize Twitter. This is a major move towards giving users more power over their data and the systems they use to communicate. It’s the exact opposite of what Facebook’s been working towards.
Need more evidence of Facebook’s creepiness?
You don’t have to love John Oliver to appreciate some of the cringe-worthy things Facebook has been up to.
To all of my friends and family that still use the platform, no judgement from me. You do you. Seriously. In an effort to help you ween yourself off Facebook, let me share some things that I’ve done to stay connected with family/friends.
Messaging apps are all the rage. You probably use Facebook messenger now. It may take some lobbying, but if I were you, I would encourage my family and friends to use a messaging platform that doesn’t want your data. See their FAQ for more details: https://telegram.org/faq
You can create a group for your whole family and then chat with eachother there. You can share pictures and videos and the GIF game on telegram is off the hook. Ditto for your friends. I’ve found that my family communicates a lot more through messaging than they do through liking each other’s facebook posts.
It also has the benefit of being truly cross-platform. It runs on any mainstream device you can think of: PC/Mac/Linux/iOS/Android. I love Apple’s imessage, but I can’t communicate with those android heathens 🙂
This is limited to the iOS users in your circle, but iPhones can share pictures into albums, allow people to comment on them, etc. It’s not “social media” per se. But it’s a way for you to share your life with the people you actually care about. It’s also a good personal checkup to see WHO you actually want to share your stuff with. If you have to create the album and actually invite someone to it, you’ll probably use more discretion on what/when you share and who you share it with.
See above regarding my opinions on twitter. It’s not perfect, but they’re not Facebook. Also, everything you say is public by default. There’s something to that. On Twitter, you’re actually going into the town square and screaming on top of a soap box. Again, there’s something there that keeps what you say in check. You won’t share private thoughts about how you hate your boss (unless your boss isn’t on twitter), because you know what you’re posting is totally public and searchable by anyone on the internet.
Want a place where you can post your public thoughts in long-form text and have those thoughts be tied to your name? Start a blog. You can find mine at https://www.chadhassler.com. I don’t have intentions of building a following with my blog. I just like having a place on the internet that I can control. I determine what gets posted and I determine what data I collect about the people that visit it. *Hint* – I don’t! Apart from hit/view counts (which I’m probably going to find a way to turn off), I don’t care who looks at my blog, and I don’t want to know anything about them!
Bottom line: I’m leaving facebook. Sorry to be so dramatic about it. I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time. I’ll probably post this on my blog for the long term. Once I delete my account, the only people who will see this post are the creepy bastards at Facebook.
If you want to stay in touch, here are the ways to find me:
Take it easy!