So, I admit it… I am not on Facebook. I have no desire to be on Facebook, and I am aware that I may be missing out on a ton of cool things, but I just can’t do it. That’s just the way it is.
I am one of only about a handful of people that I know that doesn’t have a Facebook account. Anytime I meet another person who is in my same position, there is usually a high five, a head nod, or we both immediately shout out an excited list of reasons why we choose not to be on Facebook. It’s a special bond, like we’re part of our own network that will probably not hear from each other again for several months… or ever.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Facebook or people who are on it. It has done amazing things for our world. It has connected millions of people across the globe in a way that was not possible before. Its easier to stay in touch with old friends or relatives. Musicians have used it as a way to collaborate with other artist or reach out to a larger fan-base. It has been used as a tool to organize the masses and spread social awareness of many issues. Businesses and non-profit organizations are able to connect with their audiences and listen to what they are asking for. Facebook really is amazing. So why am I resisting it so much?
Well, the short answer that I give people is… privacy. I don’t like Facebook because I feel like people expose too much of their lives on it. I know it all depends on how you use social media of any kind, but think about what the average person has on their Facebook page. How well can you get to know someone by their Facebook page?
Look at your Facebook page, do you have any of these on them?
- Your name
- Your age
- Your relationship status
- Where you live
- Where you went/go to school
- Where you work
- Pictures of yourself, friends, or family
- Pictures of your last vacation
- Pictures of yourself at a party (maybe a little tipsy)
- Conversations with other people who are also on Facebook
- Your phone number ( I know it seems crazy but some people do)
I know that posting any of these things onto Facebook is optional. But if you don’t post pictures or have conversations, what fun is it? And YES, I know that you can set privacy settings so your grandma doesn’t see the pictures of you at Mardi Gras from last year, but I am still amazed that so many people are willing to put so much of their life online. Even if a person “doesn’t have anything to hide”, does that mean that you need to expose yourself like this?
Again, I have nothing against Facebook or its users. Most of the people I know are on it and are constantly trying to convince me to get on it. As of June 2013, Facebook claims to have 1.15 billion users, so it must be pretty cool. But for me, especially during a time where the NSA has become a household name and our government is being accused of spying on its own people and people from around the world, I still think I rather not have one.
For more information on Facebook privacy and general privacy on the web, check out these links…