Monday, February 16, 2009

Breaking Up (With Facebook) Is Hard To Do

Disclaimer: The following post is rife with sarcasm and hopefully a good dash of wit. Please be advised. Those without a decent sense of humor need not read any further.

Before I had this fantabulous blog, and long before I began Twittering my life away, I was a Facebook junkie.

I was in undergrad when Facebook first exploded onto the online social scene, a sleeker, more sophisticated (read: "adult"-like) version of MySpace. University students signed up in droves, creating profiles complete with their weekly drinking/club-hopping escapades for all to see. And who doesn't want in on that? So, after months of fighting off the peer pressure from my buddies, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and created my own profile--minus the alcoholic binges. And thus the madness began.

In the early stages of our relationship, Facebook was everything I never knew I always wanted. It allowed me to cyberstalk my friends without actually having to--ya know, speak to them--and they could do the same with me. I could "friend" people I had never and would never meet in real life under the guise of so-called "networking," all without having to worry about someone filing one of those nasty restraining orders. Yay! L0000ve it! And of course, the biggest reward of all, having all the intimate details of my early-20's published on a profile that could be viewed by everyone from my grandmother to potential employers. Fantastic!

Once the honeymoon was over, however, I realized that my beloved Facebook wasn't quite all it appeared to be. It developed ugly web applications that allowed total strangers to know what I was doing at every minute of every day. It made my information easier and easier to spread around, and at the same time, it made my privacy harder and harder to protect. And when I complained about the changes it had made, Facebook responded with chilling indifference. This is the way things are, it replied, so you'd better get used to it.

I was mortified, but I loved Facebook dearly, so I stayed faithful and convinced myself that I could make it change its ways. We fought a lot, but it seemed like we were making progress. We were going to work things out. Or so I thought.

And then, this ridonculousness happened (yes, I did just make that word up).

Ugh. All I can say is, why, Facebook, WHY?! Why do you hurt me so? Why do you insist on pushing me away? We have so much history together, and yet, when I confronted you about your behavior, this is all you had to say.

Was that supposed to make me feel better? Stealing my time wasn't enough, so you had to steal my privacy too, is that it? What's next, selling pictures of my kid to the highest bidder?

I don't think I can take anymore of this, Facebook. This just might have been the last straw. I love you, you're one convenient piece of work, but unless I start seeing some major changes in you very soon, I'll have to move on. I really do deserve better.


  1. I'm scared of Facebook and other social networks for just these reasons. I warn my kids all the time, but they just think I'm old and dorky. :)

    PS Ridonkulous is one of my most fav words. My twin sister and I have been saying it for years!

  2. This the reason I'm a little leery of facebook as well. It doesn't seem as protective of content especially when a person is exposing so much about themselves.

  3. I finally joined Facebook about a month or so ago after swearing I never would. I've loved getting in touch with my old high school and college buddies - but this new policy of theirs really irritates me. I think I may delete a lot of my stuff.

  4. Angie,
    The thing is, I was totally cool with Facebook before all this. It had great privacy settings that gave me full control over who did and did not see my content. I felt safe.

    What freaks me out about the new TOS is that now I don't have control anymore, Facebook does. They can use my stuff anytime, anywhere for all eternity, and I can't do a thing about it. That's what makes it not cool.

  5. Michelle,
    Yup, it's a real problem. I'm especially concerned because I have a young son, and I have pictures of him included in my account. I used to think they were safe, but now the owners of Facebook can do whatever they want with them.

  6. Melissa,
    That's exactly the reason I signed up, and it's why I'm having such a hard time letting it go. It really does make keeping in touch with old friends pretty darn convenient. Still, I don't think I'm willing to sacrifice my family's safety for convenience.

  7. I just joined because some friends asked me to - but I don't put anything on there that I wouldn't put on my website or blog - once someone asked if I was going to the theater last week - I emailed her and let her know I never put personal stuff - when I won't be home, etc, on any website - it just creeps me out to know people know my business!

  8. Fear not, LC. Facebook has already backed off that TOS change, proving once more it pays to bitch royally and en masse.

    I love it, but I won't open the gates to anyone I don't really know in some way. It's too scary!

  9. Anita,
    I read you loud and clear! *salute* LOL!

    Actually, I just heard that Facebook has already returned to their old TOS, no doubt because of all the pressure from folks like me who were quite unhappy with them. So, it seems my content is secure again...for now.

    I still have my privacy filters on though, just to be safe.

  10. Kathryn,
    That's a good rule of thumb to follow. I had privacy filters on my account so total strangers couldn't see anything unless I gave them access. Still, I guess you can't be too careful!

  11. Lori,
    Yes, I heard that story this morning. Power to the people! I'll be adding an update at the end of this post later today.

    It's nice to know our voices are still heard in some ways. Now if we could only get the folks in D.C. to stop passing stimulus packages without our input...;-)