It’s all over the interwebs that Facebook’s latest changes to privacy setting is evil. Plenty of famous people have left FB. Plenty of people I know have left Facebook.
I’m on the fence. My kids are on Facebook and for my teenager, especially, it’s a nice way to see what he’s up to. It serves as a conversation starter. And you know, I like to keep an eye on them in case trouble arises. Also, my dad’s friends are all there and they let me know how he’s doing, also important to me. And then there’s all the old friends from elementary school, high school, college, whom I wouldn’t know anything about if it weren’t for Facebook.
But, I’m not a fan of the how difficult it is to set privacy settings nor am I a huge fan of having my information used for advertising purposes. But, I already do that in other ways–credit cards, grocery store cards (at least FB doesn’t know what food I eat (yet)). And while I may feel a bit squeamish about that, it’s not like I didn’t know. I mean, I get the service for free. They have to make money, so naturally, it’s all about the ads.
Right now, I have everything set to “friends only” though honestly, I’m not entirely sure about that. That’s what it says, but who knows. Which is part of the problem, yes? And then there’s the fact that my “friends” on Facebook run the gamut from people in my field I’ve met briefly to people I see every day to family to former students. Not all of those people need to know everything about me. Which is why I don’t post much there. I could make things more granular, but it’s a hell of a lot of work. I’d have to group my friends and then go through each of five or six different privacy areas and set what each group gets to see. Also, I have tried to change my network, but it’s so school based still, I have to tell it what year I am. Really? I can’t just be a resident of the Philadelphia area? I have to have gone to school there. See, I don’t want to be in my high school or college or even graduate school network. I don’t live near those people. I have little in common with them except that we attended school together 20 years ago. And every network I’ve tried to join requires a college email. Hello, we didn’t even have email back then. Either that or I didn’t go to school around here, but I live here. Hello?
The people who read my blog and follow me on Twitter are a whole different group of people, so sticking with just those means I lose connections to people who are just on Facebook. So it’s a dilemma. And I haven’t decided what to do yet. I feel like I need/want to be there for lots of reasons, good reasons, but I also feel that their business practices are problematic. So I’ll keep thinking about it for now, see what the fallout really is, and decide what to do later. I feel very Scarlet O’Hara about the whole thing.