Month: March 2018

Fallout

Today’s the day: I click the “delete account” for Facebook in about fifteen minutes (hey, I have it on the calendar at a specific time, okay?). I’ve lived the last week without Facebook and it’s been pretty good.  There’s only been a little bit of fallout, which I share here for those thinking about deleting your Facebook.

Interconnected Communications Feeds

I don’t use my Facebook login for most anything else (except Scrabble, see below) but there’s interconnected feeds between Twitter, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, OpenTable, etc.  I hadn’t realized until I posted something via Twitter and the Editor saw it on my Facebook account (he was all excited I wasn’t leaving Facebook and I had to burst his bubble). I’ve spent part of the last week disconnecting things and rerouting.  My previous content strategy was to tier posts based on audience — most “close” audience was Facebook, next ring out was Twitter, next ring out was LinkedIn. (In effect: everything posted to Facebook but only very carefully thought about things posed to LinkedIn).  I’m sure I haven’t caught all of the entwined feeds and I did discover my Klout and Foursquare accounts were still (somehow) active, so I’m deleting those, too.

Facebook App Dependency

The Editor and I have played Scrabble nonstop for ten years now via Facebook.  It started actually with Lexulous, and then we moved to Scrabble when Lexulous was shut down.  However Scrabble requires one of two log ins – Facebook or EA. With me killing my Facebook, I went and created an EA account, only to find that I can’t link up to my former Scrabble opponents and with the EA account I can’t go search for the Editor. Words with Friends has a similar problem.  This problem remains to be fixed and so if you have an app dependency on Facebook you’ll want to figure out a Plan B.

Keeping Up with Friends/Family

This has become an old-school effort.  I’m texting more (and using Signal, if you’re interested in peer-to-peer), emailing more, and generally putting in more effort. I *think* that’s a good thing.  I still need to set up the photo sharing for family/friends.  I’m relying on Twitter and LinkedIn more.

Keeping Up with Communities

This was briefly touched on in a Marketplace Tech podcast (here), of how Facebook isn’t just used for peer-to-peer but also for businesses for their customers and communities (nonprofit and otherwise). Most of the nonprofits have a Twitter presence and I can keep up with those, but for example the group of people I’m doing Ragnar with are on FB as a group, and the same with Tough Mudder; I’m not going to get those updates and I’m relegated to the old fashioned email/direct communication.  On the flip side, I’m finding more use in some Reddit communities (r/running, r/learnprogramming, etc.) and will probably interact more on that platform. If you have a lot of community ties through your Facebook account, you’ll want to think about this if you pull the plug.

 

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Goodbye, Facebook

I’ve been on Facebook for the better part of 11 years. In that time it has afforded me the opportunity to keep in touch with friends, old and new; to see the immediate impacts of world events through a local lens; to ensure my family knows I haven’t fallen into a puddle of stress. In return, Facebook sold my data to various marketing endeavors, so I’d get served up “relevant” ads for Stitch Fix, Starbucks and You Need a Budget. I was fine with this arrangement.

I am not fine with them selling my data to a firm that will target ads to me in order to change my voting behaviors or my social views. I’m fully cognizant that they already have my data, and my deletion of my content on Facebook the site – which I’ve mostly done thanks to a script referenced in this article – is an academic exercise for those wishing to mine it from Facebook. The deals are done, the data is out. (Note it’s not technically a data breach, because Facebook gave the data freely away.) This is me, voting with my keyboard: they don’t get any future data.

Not directly, anyway.

Facebook still creates ghost profiles, still uses cookie drops through scores of sites on the internet, leverages publicly available data and sells the cooked product. It will still sell the cooked product. I will not help them do it, though. I am deleting my Facebook entirely March 30th. I have already deleted WhatsApp and Instagram (two Facebook properties). I am retaining Twitter (for now) and LinkedIn.

Things I Recommend:

  • If you remain on Facebook, I recommend using FB Purity.
  • If you want to delete your content (after downloading) I recommend Social Book Post Manager.
  • If you want to keep the cookies at bay, I recommend Ghostery.
  • If you want to listen to some great podcasts about the latest Facebook data sharing issues (because this has happened before), I recommend this and this.
  • If you are more of an article-reading person, read this and this and this.

Keep in Touch:
If you have my email, or we’re linked on LinkedIn or Twitter, that works. If you have my phone number we can totally text. My friend K has set up a private photo sharing process in his family that I will be pinging him shortly on how to do the same, to make sure my son’s grandparents get the latest photo evidence that he’s still growing and healthy and making bland sartorial choices. And if a more responsible photo-and-update sharing platform arrives on the scene, I’ll have a look.