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Goodbye Facebook

Well, I did it. I stopped complaining about it and just did it. I deleted my Facebook account today.

I’ve been unhappy with Facebook for a long time. You are too, admit it. I finally decided I’d had it with their cavalier treatment of my personal information, which apparently goes way back to the founding. I’ve had it with their sloppiness, their constant changes to the site that only made it harder to use, their obvious aim to squeeze as much money out of the site as they possibly can. I’ve worn out my poor (non-Facebook-using) husband’s ears complaining about it. In short, I really believe that Facebook is evil and can’t be trusted.

I worry a little bit about losing contact with all my friends who don’t actually e-mail anymore. They seem to be much more comfortable living their lives on the public stage than I am. Lately many of them have stopped communicating any other way. Facebook is the medium for party invitations, photo sharing, personal news, even invitations for drinks.

But if you have even a little bit of concern about your privacy, don’t you feel a little uncomfortable too? Let’s face it, Facebook isn’t set up for anyone with even a shred of compartmentalization in their life. Speaking for myself, I have close friends and not-so-close friends. I have friends I know through yoga, friends I met professionally, and other friends I met in my nightclubbing days. I don’t necessarily want all those groups to mix. I like being able to present a more limited persona based on context.

And that’s exactly where Facebook fails. There’s no context. I may “like” Victory Brewing Company, but it’s because I’m an investor, not because I’m a keg-buying partier. I may choose to “like” a business just because I’m researching them, not because I want to be identified with their actions. Facebook, in not allowing me to limit access to that list of “likes”, forced me away from the whole enterprise.

I’m not alone, it seems. The next issue of Time magazine has put Facebook privacy concerns on the cover. There’s even a movement to delete accounts en masse on May 31. But I’m not waiting.

I’m not giving up on social media, by any means. I have to keep involved for my work. I’ll keep my LinkedIn account, I may even go back to Twitter, if only to tell friends when I’ve posted a new blog entry. But Facebook and I, we’re done.

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