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Why I’m Keeping My Facebook Account… For Now

Ed Stetzer just posted an article talking about how he had deleted his personal Facebook profile. Though he is keeping his public page, he has serious concerns about Facebook’s approach to privacy, as do many other people right now.

A large portion of the tech industry agrees with Ed, as evidenced by a post at Wired about how Facebook has gone rogue. Robert Scoble never did trust Facebook but has some interesting suggestions about dividing Facebook into public and private halves.

I’ve watched the drama unfold and have decided, for now at least, to do nothing differently. I use Facebook daily. I won’t be deleting my account as part of some mass exodus in protest of their privacy policies. Here are some reasons why I’m keeping my profile.

  1. I enjoy it. It’s a timebandit worth a little bit of my time.
  2. It’s the only place I connect with certain people, whom I either would not know, or would not have re-connected with otherwise.
  3. I never expected full privacy. It’s the internet. If you say something, it’s bound to be publicly findable either now, or later.
  4. I’m not famous, so I don’t expect to deal with the number of friend requests Ed has.
  5. There’s not a great alternative right now. Diaspora might have a shot, but not anytime soon.
  6. It’s a good way to have people connect with me who are interested in knowing me for some reason in some capacity in which I work or live. It’s why I make that invitation to connect public.

I do think Facebook is wrong in a big way, so I do think people who feel the need to do so should delete their profiles. What’s the big wrong? It’s changing things mid-stream. It’s collecting users and user-generated data including private information about people with a promise of privacy that later gets broken. The right thing would be to continue the same level of privacy for all current users and institute new privacy policies for new members or existing members who choose to opt in to the new open policy.

But for now at least, I’m staying… like the musicians on the deck of the Titanic!

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  • http://japh.com.au/ Japh

    I agree, Brandon. I haven't liked Facebook for quite a while, and still don't. I don't use it all that much, but I check in at least once a day.

    It's the only way I connect with some people, especially now I've relocated to the UK, it's a good way for me to keep in touch with people back home in Australia.

    I *want* to leave Facebook, but I can't right now so I try to limit the amount of detail I provide. Best I can do while I still need it.
    .-= Japh´s last blog ..Get yourself a Satellite developer =-.

  • http://danielcberman.com/ Daniel Berman

    Agree with the sentiment, Brandon. I'm currently running a couple of facebook fan pages so that's proven to be the major challenge for me to get around.

    You mentioned not having as many friends as Ed Stetzer, but didn't you decide to go through a massive unfriending process a few weeks back with Twitter? How are planning for Facebook, not to become the same mess?
    .-= Daniel Berman´s last blog ..Tutorial:RSS Reader/Twitter Dashboard =-.

    • http://www.brandonacox.com Brandon

      Good question, Daniel. I honestly can’t say that I have the ideal answer. I do know that on Twitter I went from following back nearly everyone – about 13,000 at one point, to following just under 2,000, and I’ve found ways to tune into some key connectors.

      Furthermore, with Facebook, connections come more slowly, so instead of 40 new “followers” today, many of whom are just looking to increase their numbers, I find one or a few each day who want to connect for better reasons.

  • http://coloradoguy.com Steve in Colorado

    Brandon, I share your sentiment. The privacy matter is indeed troubling, but I have too much invested in Facebook. There are so many benefits, and you name a few.

    It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out!

    • http://www.brandonacox.com Brandon

      Yes, it’s funny too that MySpace and Twitter both allow privacy options that Facebook doesn’t. We shall see.

  • http://timothyfish.blogspot.com Timothy Fish

    I’ve always treated Facebook as being no more private than what I might post on my blog. Several of my “friends” on Facebook are people who happened to see comments I’ve made on various blogs. They may know me and I don’t know them. It’s kind of like church. We assume that most of the people have good intentions, but there’s always that possibility that someone wanders in with less than honorable intentions.
    .-= Timothy Fish´s last blog ..One Road or Many? =-.

  • http://kevinmartineau.blogspot.com Kevin M.

    I went into Facebook with my eyes open. I recognize, just like you, that everything I share on the Internet is findable. The privacy part doesn’t concern me because it never did in the first place. That’s my 2 cents. :)
    .-= Kevin M.´s last blog ..Silly Saturday – Hand Washing Fail =-.

  • http://www.pix2brix.com Alison Moore Smith

    Doesn't really concern me, either. If I don't want people to know something, I generally don't put it out there.
    .-= Alison Moore Smith´s last blog ..How to Create Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines =-.

  • http://8bit.io John (8BIT)

    i love this.