Reason 1: Facebook’s privacy issues
In early 2018, we found out that Facebook app-makers were violating usage agreements — for years — by turning a blind eye and accessing data users’ contacts. Oh, and Facebook knew about it. If you agreed to let this app access your data, you were also unknowingly granting them access to access your contacts’ information.
Then in the fall of 2018, there was the big hack that affected an estimated 50 million Facebook accounts. Not only did this breach potentially affect your Facebook account, but it gave hackers access to any apps that you connected to Facebook.
Reason 2: Cambridge Analytica
We felt this one deserved a reason of its own; it’s not just another Facebook privacy issue. The whole deal with Cambridge Analytica was that not only did the company access Facebook user data, but it allegedly used it to influence the outcome of a huge political election.
Reason 3: Facebook’s API
Our beef isn’t just with Facebook’s privacy issues and what happened with Cambridge Analytica — it’s about the loosey-goosey attitude Facebook had with its API that set us up for these breaches in the first place.
API stands for application program interface, which is kind of like a door that lets software applications talk to each other and share information. It’s not nefarious — it’s how companies like Google and Facebook grow their products; they allow developers to write programs that essentially plug into their products.
Facebook has tightened its API policies, according to an official statement Facebook released in July 2018. Too little too late? We’ll see.
Reason 4: Facebook knows more than you want it to
OK, so maybe Facebook is not recording your conversations — that would, after all create HUGE data files that would be impossible to store for 2.2 billion users — but it is monitoring what you do on the website so it can serve up advertisements that are relevant to you.
Some people find the targeted ads helpful, while others find them downright creepy.
Reason 5: Facebook tracks you around the web
Remember, Facebook is a for-profit business. As much as it likes us to think it’s a community-service-oriented business that connects people and enriches our lives, it is #initforFacebook. Big data = big bucks.
Reason 6: Facebook is a waste of time
How many of us have said, “It’s not real until it’s documented on Facebook.” Relationships, job changes, births, deaths and dog adoptions — you name it. The website is designed to be integral to our lives. Being sensitive to criticism about social media dependency, in 2018 Facebook introduced a tool to help us manage the time we waste/spend on Facebook. How thoughtful...
Reason 7: Facebook can ruin your life
One guy got fired for urinating on nachos at work and posting it on social media. Another woman who worked at a residential care home lost her job for sharing photos and violating confidentiality of the residents. We’ve all heard the stories, and, OK, Facebook didn’t ruin everyone’s lives; that nacho guy and nursing home worker ruined their own lives by publicly posting content that shouldn’t be.
Still, social media has given new outlets — and expectations — for sharing content to a global audience. If you’re not careful even something as innocent as posting photos from a nursing home singalong can come back to haunt you — and ruin your life.
Reason 8: Facebook makes you lonely?
A group of academics studied the relationship among personality traits, loneliness and Facebook usage and found that — surprise, surprise — people who use Facebook tend to be extroverted and narcissistic. The researchers suggest that extroverted Facebook users tend to express strong feelings of family loneliness, while their introverted non-Facebook-user counterparts tend to experience overall social loneliness.
Maybe Facebook doesn’t create loneliness, but the findings of this study suggest that it isn’t helping.
Reason 9: Facebook wants you to get addicted
The brilliance of Facebook is that it, more than Google, Twitter and the MySpaces that came before it, figured out how to create a widespread dependence on the platform.
How many applications have you used Facebook credentials to log into? How many times have you complained about missing an important life event from a friend who shrugged and said, “I posted it on Facebook.”
Academics have been studying social media platforms and testing hypotheses related to them and addiction for years now.
Reason 10: Facebook redefined the word “friend”
Go through your Facebook list. Ask yourself, If I ran into this person at the grocery store (a) would I recognize them and (b) would I stop and chat? Furthermore, would I (c) invite them to dinner?
Answer “no” to any of the above and we have to wonder, why add them to your social media network? Why see their updates?
The definition of friend has loosened thanks to social media, and it extends to anyone we’ve crossed paths with.