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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!