Goodbye Facebook

So I’m hovering over the delete button of Facebook button.  That in itself is impossible to find on the Facebook site and sort of sums up my whole mood on the issue.

A quick Google and I found this is a common desire.  Good, the world isn’t as mindless as I’d thought.

My problem with Facebook stemmed long ago from when I was in a supermarket.  I looked at a pack of sausages.  They were inviting me to friend them on their Facebook page.

Seriously?

From then on, Facebook has been like creeping rot to me.  It’s not appropriate to let companies worm themselves into social networks.  It stands in the way of why I even entertain social networking.

Many years ago it started as a magical place where you could do anything.  Vent, rant, complain, or get therapy.  Meet new friends, discover new things.  The commercial exploit of this space broke that as soon as the Mark Zuckerberg mothership landed.

Social networking existed long before Mark started his journey into the php cloud.  If there’s anyone whose killed that world though, its Mark.

Over time its been eroded into a privacy nightmare.  Marketing has overtaken its purpose.  Sure why not link your website to Facebook?  Why not use Facebook to log in to everything?

I’ll tell you why.  Because you’ve just surrendered your privacy without ever knowing.

From the moment you log in you’re tracked.  Everything you do, check, see is being data mined and drawn together in a tapestry of your life.  It sounds quite benign, flattering even, that anyone cares, but the reality is far removed from it just choosing to show you an ad for some soap you might like.

I have a big problem with privacy.  I really do.  I often (very often) hear people categorise privacy into:

– Nothing to hide
– Identity fraud
– How is my data being used?

The true answer is its sort of all these things.  The cold truth is that giving up this privacy right means you’re giving up the right to knowing how your data is used.  You have no recourse or defence until some sorry mess has been created; at this point you as an individual have to unravel what other people have done with data you didn’t even known they’d collected.

This is so so wrong.  You live your life in a innocent and free way, and other people then collate information on you, often incorrectly and then leave you to clean up when something breaks this.

It could be anything.  Medical records, a speeding ticket, a failed credit check, even the assumption you’re a social predator because you shopped for kids toys once for your nephew.  It’s a frighting and indefensible world, where in the end you need to be a forensic scientist to unravel it.

I long for the day where my identity isn’t known and that I’m free to speak my mind without repercussion.  These days, employers data mine social networks to evaluate a potential candidate; there’s no recourse or defence.  No ability to explain how your day was, or why you needed to let off steam.  Your entire life is being judged without your knowledge.

To me, that’s a horrid situation.  Privacy lost and the heady days of just being able to hang out on the internet long gone.

So I’m breaking a bond.  A key one, in reclaiming my privacy.  Facebook, with your ever growing insidious nature, isn’t going to be one of my links in the chain.

Facebook, goodbye.  It was rarely a pleasure.

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