Life Related, Privacy

Why I can’t completely quit Facebook

As the school year slowly starts (New Faculty Orientation yesterday and today, start-of-year training and meetings next week, then students arrive… classes won’t actually start until Sept 11th, though, due to Rosh Hashanah) the time available for reading, watching tv, napping and doing other stuff gets less and less.

Earlier this year, thanks to the revelations about Cambridge Analytica, I’d stopped using Facebook as much.  I read this tweet stream about what you learn when you download your data, and decided to do mine just to see.  Luckily, my privacy settings where pretty high and I don’t have it on my phone, so some of what Dylan found didn’t exist.  Still, it was enough to be disturbing.

Then I read about Social Book Post Manager, and I’ve deleted much of my previous content (years ago, a friend asked why I’d want to, wouldn’t I want to see my memories from the past and I was stumped by the assumption that I was using FB in that way).  Did you know that you can see what other people (friends and the random public person) see on your page?  I deleted and untagged until there was virtually nothing left for anyone, including friends I’ve known since third grade, to see.  I no longer look at my news feed, respond to requests or notifications or anything.

So, why not just quit entirely?  Because far too many groups only post things on FB.  I’m not just talking about the closed group I’m part of for people with my very rare eye disease, which is a huge help in terms of support and information.  I’m talking about groups like this one, which my father sent me:

My parents are not on FB and have no intention of ever joining. They weren’t going to go to this protest, but to learn anything else about the group?  I tried to see if there was any other way for them to get information and, well, nope.

And there’s the synagogue my aunt belongs to, which despite many pleas for emails or some other way to find out what’s going on, has pretty much insisted that the only way to learn about events is to join FB.  She did, but has never posted and luckily hasn’t had to join her synagogue’s page to see things; I think my aunt has about six friends, including her children, her nieces/nephews and sister.

The idea that we could use Facebook the way we did in 2010 might work, but that’s only if we all agree.  If my friends stopped sharing videos and news they didn’t create, stopped creating fundraisers that force me to give financial information to FB, stopped begging for likes or amens, etc. I might starting using it again.  But for now, I’m lurking.  Occasionally.  Maybe once a month.  And spending the time I used to spend there doing other things.


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