Privacy Concerns, Securities Fraud, Quit Facebook Day, Jason Calacanis: Will Anything Make Us Delete Our Facebook Accounts?
People are deleting their Facebook accounts left and right. Weblogs and Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis deleted his and became a Facebook ghost, and he is a social media deity. Well, that is what I am reading, anyway. However, despite even ongoing allegations of securities fraud against Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, I have yet to encounter a real life friend -- or even an Internet friend -- who has pulled the trigger and deleted her own Facebook profile.
What's going on here? Yes, I am worried about the privacy issues. I have even gone in and changed things around a little bit, but to delete my Facebook profile entirely? MY FACEBOOK PROFILE? That would be like getting rid of my baby blanket. Seriously, if I still have my blankie at 37 years old, there is no way I'm going to delete my Facebook profile.
In a way, I don't like it that random companies know what I talk about on Facebook, but at the same time, if, say, Nabisco knows that I got my hair cut today, I am kind of okay with that.
I am a personal blogger, after all.
The real question is this: Is Facebook dying? Is it over?
I don't think so.
Facebook has over 400 million active users. 400 MILLION ACTIVE USERS! I don't mean to yell, but I didn't even know the Internet had that many active users. The only people who don't have Facebook accounts are my mom, three Amish people and Jason Calacanis.
I can't quit Facebook. Everyone I know (except my mom and Jason Calacanis) is on Facebook. My children are invited to birthday parties on Facebook, my neighbors organize get-togethers on Facebook, I find out about cousins having babies on Facebook, and I am not even a hardcore user.
Peter Shankman isn't quitting either. He wrote a post called "Five Reasons I'm Not Quitting Facebook". All of his points are valid, but his first point is spot on.
1) Perhaps most importantly, privacy is only a problem if you’re posting seriously private stuff.
Amen, Mr. Shankman. Honestly, if you have your credit card number or your home address on Facebook, YOU are the one with the issues, not Facebook. The most personal thing I have on Facebook (besides possibly some photos from junior high that are probably on flickr already anyway) is where I went to high school. If anyone -- ANYONE -- came up to me on the street and asked me where I went to high school, I would tell them. It isn't a secret. I don't put secrets on Facebook.
I don't put secrets on the Internet, nor do I publish them in the newspaper. If you are telling secrets or putting your home phone number on Facebook, you should stop doing that. You don't have to quit the whole party.
So May 31 is "Quit Facebook Day". Some sites are reporting that up to 60 percent of Facebook users are actually considering quitting the site. I guess it remains to be seen how many people will actually go through with it -- or how many people will delete their profiles and join again within the next six months.
Should Facebook respect our privacy and our trust in them to not give out personal information? Absolutely. Should you quit Facebook? That is up to you, but I think if we are being honest with ourselves, we should be much more concerned with the amount of time people spend on the site and not quite as worried about Mark Zuckerberg telling companies who you are playing Words With Friends against.
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