The lure of social networking’s gravity pulled me into Facebook’s orbit (again). I’ve been debating leaving (again), and today I reached escape velocity.
My history with Facebook has been love-hate for years. I deleted my Facebook account in 2014 in frustration over their privacy violations. I upgraded my phone in 2016 and discovered Samsung had thoughtfully pre-installed Facebook and made it impossible to delete. The first thing I did was disable it and revoke all Android permissions. I digitally hog-tied Facebook. Bound, gagged and blindfolded.
In 2018 I started meeting some new people and they were very active on Facebook. I reluctantly made a new account and started using it. It’s digital crack cocaine. You know it’s wrong, but before you know it you are uploading photos, commenting on news stories, and wondering how many people “liked” your latest witty retort. I rationalized my daily visits by using the Pages feature to advertise my business, and decided I’d even give Messenger a try for live tech support.
Oops. Ok, I won’t mention them twice.
- Facebook never actually deletes things when you decide to delete them. They hide them and apologize when they get caught.
- Facebook’s data center in Prineville, Oregon is larger than the NSA’s and that’s not the biggest one of their privately owned data centers.
- Facebook is trying to access our medical records and match them to our Facebook profiles.
- Facebook is doing psychological experiments on their users without consent.
- Facebook watches everything you type, even if you delete it before posting.
- Facebook is asking users to upload their nude photos. You know, to “protect” them.
- Facebook tracks you even when not on the site or logged in. Even if you aren’t a Facebook user.
There’s more. There’s an entire history of Facebook flip-flopping on privacy. For the cherry on top, I’ve got a 14 page class-action settlement booklet laying in front of me right now I have to read and submit because they screwed me during the IPO.
Facebook lovers will say I’m spreading conspiracy theory, or shrug and say “whatabout Google?” Careful readers will note that I never claimed Facebook was watching you through your camera or listening to your microphone. They don’t need to.
Facebook critics will say I am stupid for ever using the site in the first place. Perhaps. At one point in 2017, I turned everything off for a couple months. I put down my smartphone and started using a $25 flip-phone. I put down my laptop and started using a Moleskine paper notebook. I rejected everything digital, and my life became unmanageable. I was living like a fish that rejected water. Like it or not, this is the world we live in.
Even so, I’m done with Facebook. Dave’s not here.
“The growing wealth acquired by corporations never fails to be a source of abuses.”
–President James Madison