Why I just can't quit Facebook

This article from Selena Larson on ReadWrite is pretty close to what I was trying to articulate yesterday. There are a few particularly interesting sections.

In order to use Facebook to stay in touch with people, I am giving it access to my own personal life on the Internet. Facebook knows what movies I like, where I live, who my best friends are, and what apps I use, because I have spent the last seven years giving it that information. Now that I’ve decided I prize my privacy more than my posts, it’s too late to back out.

I agree, on principle, but a lot of this information I think is shared to my advantage. Movies, music, trivial information that I would freely share with anyone if asked. But then there's the more private, and more useful to Facebook, information. It's possible for Facebook, given appropriate permissions, to track where you are and when; this is a significant insight into your life that you wouldn't necessarily choose to freely share. This is the kind of information that I have more concern over.

Since I deleted Facebook, I’ve felt somewhat alone. I suppose that could mean that I’m a terrible friend who has trouble maintaining long distance-relationships because of my selfish nature, or it means that Facebook does indeed strengthen our friendships, whether we want to admit it or not. I’ll concede that a little bit of both are true, and both factors contributed to my loneliness.

I can relate to this to a point. In the last few years in particular friends have been experiencing those awfully adult, responsible life changes like marriage and parenthood, advancing careers and the like. These events move people around and change their prioritues. Facebook is an excellent medium for maintaining contact, even if that contact is at times insubstantial. Insubstantial is not the same as ineffective.


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