Changing How I Use Facebook

I am not a huge Facebook fan – there I said it.

Even though I have been using Facebook for a while and even got so fed up with it that at one time I deleted my account a few of years ago for a month. I didn’t like Facebook’s attitude toward privacy then and still don’t like its attitude towards privacy today (everything is public by default).  Then there is how you have to search around their website to keep your information at the security level that you want – not what Facebook wants.  Yes their privacy policy is very granular, but they don’t make it easy to find or implement, especially when they provide new services to the users – which is always defaulted to public.

Also, I am not really keen on how once I post something to Facebook it become’s Facebook’s property (I believe I am correct when I say this – if I am not please show me the reference so I can stand corrected).  While it is my data, Facebook can use and keep what I have posted – even if I delete my account.

However, I do use Facebook to keep in contact with friends, family, former co-workers and even some former students (who I tend to hide, when they talk about stupid stuff I really don’t want to know about). When used for this purpose Facebook can be fun and a provides a service that allows people to stay in contact with each other, when in the past we tended to loose touch with each other. It is a very valuable service when used in this context.

Over the past six months or so, I have noticed that more and more businesses, blogs (including my own) have started to post on Facebook and I was following a great number of them also. In looking at my Facebook wall earlier in the week, I had more entries from businesses/blogs/others than I did from people I wanted to keep in contact with.  This is the monetization of Facebook and had to happen for Facebook to survive – it could not go on being a “free” service and needed a revenue source.

Which got me to thinking (I know a dangerous thing), what was and is the reason that I joined and then came back to Facebook? It was communicating with people, not businesses, not blogs or the other entities that have made their presence known so much on Facebook recently. So I have gone through my “Friends list” and all the pages that I have deleted or “unliked” anything that is a blog, business or that is not a person that I have known or gotten to know.

I have also gotten rid of my Facebook pages connected to my blog. I noticed that my blogs were posting on Facebook 2-3 times and I don’t want to be considered a spammer too. It seems that I got caught up with the current you too can make money blogging idea and one of the current ideas is that you have to have a Facebook page attached to your blog. Well I am not going to get rich blogging and I don’t want to spam everyone in Facebook, so the Facebook Pages are now gone.

My new personal policy is that Facebook is for family, friends and real people. I have other avenues to follow blogs (gReader) and businesses or business associates (Twitter).

You will notice that I do not have any screen shots of my Facebook account for this article to illustrate what I am talking about. I was reading the other day that Facebook now requires that you have their permission to use screen shots of their product in articles/posts and I don’t want to run afoul of any terms of service agreements that I have agreed to without reading them closely enough.

It seems kind of strange that I can’t take screen shots of my own data, in my own account on Facebook, but if what I have been reading is accurate, it is just another reason to dislike Facebook. I have not been able to find this particular section that has been discussed in Facebook’s Terms of Service, so I have a bit more research to do on this issue. If you have anymore information on this, please comment and site where in the TOS this is or is not.

So I have gone back to using Facebook as a person – to – person networking tool, not a business one. I will continue post my blog to it, because it is becoming more and more a personal blog that is journaling my my journey into semi-retirement (trying to keep it to one time only – it will take a couple of days to make sure it is posted just once), but not as an autopost from my Facebook page (which no longer exists).

There are a lot of negatives to using Facebook’s service, so I am looking forward to finding more about Google’s +1 social networking service and how it works. Maybe if Google is successful in this next venture into social media (or if someone else is able to create a social media tool that people like), the competition will force Facebook to change how it does some things?

To tell the truth I am looking for a reason to leave Facebook behind, but I don’t want to loose a way to easily keep in contact with people that I want to.  In this way, I am stuck between Facebook and nothing right now and using Facebook is better than nothing.

Time will tell, but it was time to make some changes to how I use Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Changing How I Use Facebook

  1. I really don't have the time of day for Facebook. I hate it. Like you, I had closed my account for the same kinds of reasons you refer to, but then I opened it again, but added no friends but did add some family. I only did this so I can see other people's Facebook pages.What worries me is Blogger hooking up with Facebook so that people can see my blog. I prefer to keep family and close friends away from my blog. It looks like this is just over the hill. I am seriously thinking about WordPress.

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  2. Hi Linda – Facebook is something many of us love to hate – I know that I do, but it is much easier to keep in contact with so many that we would otherwise loose touch with. That is why I am hoping the Google +1 or some other service comes around gives Facebook some stiff competition, so that it is not have the monopoly on how we keep in contact with others.There are ways that you can have your blog autopost to your Facebook wall, but only if you choose to do so and you have to go through some Facebook apps for that that. As far as I can tell unless you purposely agree to post your blog to Facebook, it will not mysteriously end up there.I use WordPress.com too, it has a lot to offer if you are not trying to monetize or have certain widgets that you like, but may not be available on that site. I have gotten fairly established on Blogger, but have found that it doesn't take too long to get back what you loose. Thanks for commentingHarold

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