Friday Firesmith – Life Without Facebook

Three weeks or so ago I deactivated my Facebook account. There was a lot going on at the time, with Tyger Linn’s death and mom moving in, I felt as if there was a need to close down anything that cost me time with little to show for it. Oddly, it came around at almost the same time FB told me that I had been on FB for a decade. That’s longer than I’ve used any website, ever. I look back over the last ten years and I do realize that FB has been useful in many ways.
Dog Rescue doesn’t exist in its current form without FB. There is nothing out there that comes close to be as good as FB when it comes to rescue and I couldn’t begin to tell you how many lives have been saved and how many families have been reunited because of this business. And yes, FB is a business. It’s not just a free site to hang out on and chat with strangers, no, not at all. And this is one of the reasons I quit.

FB has been selling your information, for big bucks, since day one, and you’ve been giving out permission like an eighteen-year-old college freshman doing tequila shots for the first time in her life. Every quiz you have ever taken on FB asks for your permission to use your personal information, including your Friends list and your email address. This means that this business, and yes, chances are this is not a business that just wants to tell you what sort of bird you are, is mining information. If you take a dozen quizzes, and each of those extracts more and more information from you, then people can figure out how to target you with ads, and they can sell this information.

Zuck is a multi-billionaire and FB is one of the biggest companies in the history of humankind. Did you really believe all of this happened because people like to talk to strangers online?

We, as a FB Community, have already surrendered our privacy to this business, and other businesses that buy our information from FB, and we’ve given countless strangers our personal photos, information about our workplaces, photos of our children, and because we know FB messenger is being monitored, we’ve given businesses access to our personal, sometimes very personal, information and photos. What very few of us have ever considered is how this information can be used and by whom, and why they might want to use it.

Moreover, it’s been discovered that certain groups of people can use FB to produce false information, to influence large numbers of people, and even twist elections. Hot button issues become hotter in an echo chamber and there is nowhere more insulated from reality than FB, at times.
What we cannot know is how FB will be used in the future. We do know that with a billion users, Zuck could very well one day proclaim he’s going to charge one dollar a month for every account. In the space of a year, he could very well produce over ten billion dollars. That’s a very significant amount of money in a very short period of time. How one man uses this sort of power is beyond the control of anyone.

Take Care,
Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
 
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.