‘Delete Facebook’ seems to be the rallying cry over the internet for the last few days ever since the controversy of Cambridge Analytica came to light. There have been tutorials posted up (many of which I’ve seen advertised through the platform itself…) on how to delete your account, people swearing they will never use the platform again and even talks of banning the service altogether.
But in 2018 is it even possible to cut Facebook out of your life? And should you?
It’s a SOCIAL media.
Facebook is so integral to our lives that deleting it seems counterproductive in this day and age. I remember when I was a kid (just before Facebook was a twinkle in the eye of Zuckerberg) and the consensus was that once you left school, you’d never hear from your school friends again. “You won’t keep in touch. Nobody keeps in touch!” And yes, this was the case before Facebook because let’s be honest, who can be bothered to pick up a phone or write a letter on a regular basis?
But then Facebook came along and with a wave of innovation, revolutionising the way we live our lives. It not only meant that people could quickly update their friends on their lives but also allowed people from the ‘you’ll never keep in touch’ generation to reconnect. Not to mention the groups that are hosted on Facebook. Without looking, I can estimate that I’m part of at least fifteen different groups related to specific interests that I regularly interact with. From a creative standpoint, Facebook has allowed us to create communities on the platform that encourage growth, offer encouragement and general support at the click of an app.
There’s many cries about how social media keeps us further apart than ever but really, is that the case? I don’t think so. We’re able to share in the joys of others’ lives on a daily basis, and even with a short sentence of encouragement, we can have a positive impact on so many people’s lives. Facebook is woven into the fabric of our society, and while it can be cause for concern at times (don’t go comparing your own life to a cultivated representation of someone else’s life!) most of the time, I do believe it’s a force for good. Just the other day somebody who I used to work with had a question about photography. Within minutes someone had tagged me in the post and I had fired her a message offering my assistance. Within the next half an hour we messaged back and forth, her problem was solved and she had learned something new.
The platform, when used correctly, can do much more good than harm!
But what about my privacy?
If you’ve been online any time since 1991 then your privacy is already compromised. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it’s the world we live in now. I’m not saying this is ok, but the solution is not to run into a bunker and slam the door, cutting yourself off from the outside world. When learning to ride a bike, you may have fallen off a few times. Did you throw the bike away and never look at one again? Probably not. It’s not a productive solution.
What we do need is regulation. It’s astounding that a service/platform with over 2 BILLION users has such little regulation and hopefully what the Cambridge Analytica situation does is to highlight to the powers that be that regulation is needed and needed fast.
And I’m not talking about self-regulation here either. Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg responded to the latest fiasco with his intentions of how he would fix Facebook’s problems, but we shouldn’t depend so heavily on these services policing themselves. I say these services because, though the spotlight may be on Facebook for now, it’s important for us not to forget that Twitter, Instagram, Google and Youtube all hold a tremendous amount of personal information on us too. All of these services are still relatively new to us so it’s not surprising that they have not been subject to the scrutiny that they should be yet. But they will be.
So don’t delete your Facebook. Don’t cut yourself off from your extended network. Use the platform for what it was intended and bring a little bit of joy to someone’s day.
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