The people who are concerned are right to be concerned. There is a major problem with any company that wants your information as badly as Facebook wants it being as irresponsible with it as Facebook is. Also, Facebook has a frightening amount of your information. They have everything from pictures of that one night in college when you were tripping on shrooms and had a conversation with an imaginary owl, to your child’s kindergarten graduation date. I am not at all happy about the situation and I am, admittedly, as Facebook addicted as anyone.
Let’s face it though, unless something truly drastic happens, like maybe, Facebook begins selling your info directly to the mob, you are not going to leave. I am probably not going to leave. Honestly, I don’t know how it could get much worse than it is now. Although, if I had children I would be very strongly considering making them close their account. The thing that allows Facebook to be so cavalier with your information is the same reason you are probably not going to leave. Everyone is on it. In reality it has nearly killed the need for high school reunions. There are people that I have lost track of for years that now I know how to contact easily.
So here’s the question. If I am concerned about Facebook’s use of my information, but not planning to leave, what am I going to do about it? In short, I’ll treat every piece of information on there as if it were completely public. All my pictures, all my contact info, all my likes, and all of the links I post I will assume that everyone on the internet can see them, especially advertisers. In short I will treat Facebook as if it were twitter.
I have always known that whatever I posted on twitter could be seen by everyone. That doesn’t mean I have never tweeted anything that I should probably have kept to myself, but that knowledge helps me moderate myself. And that is how I will treat Facebook in the future.
Tomorrow I have a few thoughts about the loss of privacy.