I don’t feel as strongly about my privacy as it seems a lot of people do. For instance, I didn’t “sign up” at Quit Facebook Day. To be fair, I’m not an up in arms kind of guy. However, I was becoming concerned with the fact that every move Facebook made to alter the privacy of its users was denounced by said users.
Since I have a little boy, and I liked putting pictures of him up to show my friends, I started to wonder “Why do I need to worried about who, potentially, is seeing my son?”
Amber Macarthur, an influential blogger, television personality and social media expert today posted an article stating Top 5 Reason to stay on Facebook. Here are her reasons (at least the title) and my responses (I’d like to preface this by saying that I really do respect Amber. She’s one clever human being and should be listened to);
1. Privacy settings (just) got better
They just got better? My concern is the privacy settings before they got better. Every new privacy announcement appeared to remove one more layer of privacy I may have had until I switched it back on. I never opted in to let advertisers know more about me than I was comfortable. That, to me, is the unfortunate twist. I needed to constantly say that I wanted to stay relatively anonymous in the eyes of advertisers.
2. That’s where your friends are
No, that’s where some of my friends are. I think I can safely say that of the 300+ friends I had on Facebook, I was actually friends (my definition of friend) with about 60% of them. The other 40% of my friends on Facebook were people I’d met peripherally and decided they’d add me. Not the best basis for a friendship.
3. Your mom is a member
No, she’s not. If she were a member, I don’t think she’d find my daily commentary all that funny regardless of how funny those comments may have been.
4. It’s great for business (and customers)
I was most reluctant about quitting because of this reason. As a freelancer, having more than one outlet available to me to find work is a good thing. However, any contact I’ve made via Facebook I’ve quickly moved off Facebook as I’d prefer my email be the way people get in touch with me. I’ll just have to reconcile this, I suppose.
5. It’s free
This is a point of view. I’ll point out again I’m a freelancer (Dead horse? Here’s the stick I’ll beat you with.) As such, any time I spend not working is time I’m not getting paid. Therefore, any time I spent on Facebook was costing me money. Not free. Let’s not even revisit the fact that companies are starting to lament the lost revenue from their employees visiting Facebook.
Here’s my last comment; to the people who link their twitter accounts to Facebook. This may seem like convenience to you, but recognize your audience. I’m surprised I need to tell you this, but spamming your friends with your location via Twitter to 4square then to Facebook is intrusive and self-indulgent. I purposely kept my Twitter persona and my Facebook as two separate identities. I primarily talk about stuff pertinent to my working life on Twitter and my personal life was on Facebook. It’s not that hard, people.