Ove the last few years, I’ve dabbled in Facebook, but frankly never really wanted to share all the trivia of my life with others, and nor did I want to know the trivia of other peoples’ lives. Periodically, Facebook seemed to make changes to the privacy settings of the system, and therefore my account, and I have been getting increasingly annoyed at having to delve into what’s frankly quite an arcane settings system to rectify the situation.
So after news reports of what seemed to me to be a rather intrusive set of changes to the way Facebook streams trivia and tittle-tattle between users, I decided to suspend my Facebook account. In part this decision stemmed from the stories about Facebook’s cookies tracking users’ web activity in a way that was rather difficult to close down. I chose to suspend rather than delete my account because I thought that perhaps I would want to return to the fold, and read updates on peoples’ lives, their travails, and above all their bonkers Facebook games. Well, perhaps not the latter.
It’s been over a month now, and I’ve not missed Facebook at all. But. I notice that some web companies such as Spotify now require a Facebook account to register. This is no big deal to me, my music listening habits aren’t really going to benefit from Spotify membership – while I think I’ve increasingly embraced the digital music era, the way I think of and listen to my music collection is somewhat rooted in a vinyl LP mindset.
However, during my daily perambulations round the internet I follow a good many links, many of these to news sites where the comments are often of interest. In general, I tend not to leave comments of my own (unless it’s a subject I’m particularly interested in), but I often like to see what the regular readers of the site have to say. Some sites I’ve visited recently have required readers to have a Facebook login – not only to post comments, but in some cases to read comments.
This is a little sad, I think. It’s assuming all internet users are going to buy into the loss of privacy that the Facebook mindset leads to.
(The links to Facebook on this site currently point to a page saying “This content is currently unavailable” – if and when I finally knock my Facebook account on the head, those links will go).