Last week, I published a post about leaving FB for good. To my surprise, my friends were commenting in minutes, because apparently the post made it to their Facebook feed and appeared on my wall. My account was supposed to be deactivated, ergo, my wall should not have been there. (Right now my FB account is on, because my hubby and kids needed me to take care of a few things BSA-related.)
Things have changed, because in months past, whenever I’d deactivate my account, my wall would automatically disappear along with my posts in various groups, comments and posts on my friends’ walls, etc. More recently, when my account is deactivated, people can still send me messages, and I still get group notifications by e-mail (some, not all). I won’t pretend it’s wholly unwelcome — there were a few things that went through that I’m glad I got notified about. But more and more this love-hate relationship I have with FB is turning into an I-don’t-know-where-I-stand relationship. Facebook, do you respect my privacy or do you not?
I don’t know what’s going on with FB exactly. Strike that, reverse it. We know what’s going on with FB. It’s called surveillance. Not even half-joking here.
But no shocker — we knew this years ago when we first got on FB; I remember the long discussion we had at the homeschooling forum about having an online presence and privacy. But there are some days when I just think — that’s the way of the world, you either go with the flow, or you get off it. Getting off it was easier in the past. Now even with a deactivated account, “some of me” is still out there on FB.
Now I’ve always been amused when people post statuses asking for help from their friends to change settings so that their own privacy isn’t compromised. Here’s the thing. I think our privacy is our own responsibility. While it would be nice to enlist my friends’ help in keeping my identity or my postings or my pictures private, ultimately it’s MY Facebook account, MY online presence, and we really should all know by now that anything we put online will be compromised at some point if it isn’t already. It’s either going to be money-motivated, or it’s the government spying on you (again? still?). But yeah, it’s naive to think that simply clicking on some buttons at FB or elsewhere will ensure that you remain unknown to most of the world. Okay, maybe you’re still unknown to most of the world, but certainly those that are selling something know more about you than you would like. Remember the first time those custom-tailored ads from Amazon and other vendors started appearing on just about every website you visit, even the ones that you’re visiting for the first time? If that didn’t creep you out, it should have.
Facebook needs to make money, just like every online entity out there. How else would they do that unless they get your information? Nothing is free. Repeat after me. NOTHING. IS. FREE.
My friend and I were talking and joking about applying for an identity change, except who’s going to help us do that? The government? Stop it, I said. You’re making me laugh. While we’re laughing, better duct tape your web cam there, and let’s stay away from the windows. You never know who’s watching. And these days, even laughter may be a dangerous thing.