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Social Media: Is Deleting Facebook Really An Option?
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Social Media: Is Deleting Facebook Really An Option? - Executive Leadership Articles

Social Media: Is Deleting Facebook Really An Option?

Executive Leadership Articles

Social Media: Is Deleting Facebook Really An Option?

Recent news of the Cambridge Analytica misuse of Facebook-collected data has many people fleeing Facebook, and this time they mean it. Not like the last time they said they were quitting Facebook.

The news is sobering enough that not only Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg ‘s clientele, but high-ranking members of the government are calling him out to answer for what may have been an attack on American democratic processes by malicious actors outside the country.

What has many especially concerned this time is that even responsible, careful users of Facebook may have unwittingly contributed to malevolent data collection just by being friends with people who weren’t so responsible or careful. Sure, there’s a decent argument that we all knew what we were signing up for when we agreed to Facebook’s terms, but this time there seems to be a level of betrayal felt even by the savviest veterans of the social media landscape. Many leaders in this area seem to be saying enough is enough.

The problem is that for most of us, the tradeoff is usually worth it. We may dislike the data collection aspect of using Facebook, and we may be creeped out by the way we see ads on Facebook for the very products we were browsing on Amazon moments before, but darn it: we really did want that messenger bag with the waterproof lining, and Facebook reminded us that it was still there. That was pretty useful.

And let’s not forget the real reason most of us are on board in the first place. We may dislike many of Facebook’s whistles and bells. We may hate being summoned to some game we’ve never played in order to help someone else farm carrots. We may detest being messaged instantly by people we don’t care to have that kind of immediate access to. We may be annoyed by the way Facebook has become a safe place for expression of some pretty base instincts we didn’t know were lurking in our friends and coworkers. But darn it, Facebook is where everyone is. For most of us, the connection with our old classmates and former colleagues is worth just about whatever it costs us in stupid meme consumption.

Still, maybe if enough of us go elsewhere, the rest will follow. For those of us who held out on joining Facebook in favor of its long-gone competition, this has always been the dream anyway. “Connect with me on Virb!” we begged. “It’s like Facebook but cooler! Or what about Tsu? Or how about This?” Surprisingly, some of that competition has hung in there, and there may be a wave of re-migration.

Whispers are that Ello, which recently pivoted to focus more on being an artistic community, has seen a meaningful spike in signups this past week. Others are re-installing the Path and Peach apps on their devices, hoping interaction there will satisfy their social media jonesing. One recent newcomer, Vero, seems to be the cool kid on the block for Facebook ditchers, and some websites suggest that for those more interested in the news-sharing functions of Facebook, Digg has always been the best, and Nuzzel (minus the Facebook connections) might be all we need.

For now, we’re probably just going to ride this out after de-authorizing a whole bunch of Facebook apps we don’t need or want anymore. Meanwhile, we’ll also sign up for everything that shows promise as an alternative even knowing in our hearts it’s unlikely anything will ever again have the kind of reach into all circles of our social lives that Facebook enjoys now.

Those of us determined to #DeleteFacebook should know that it’s not as easy a process as we might think. Deactivating is easy, but Facebook doesn’t actually delete an account for a few weeks after deactivation, and each time someone uses a Facebook-connected website or mobile app—such as Spotify—whenever the app or website connects to FB, the delay on Facebook deletion is extended. This means that some people will have to disconnect a bunch of mobile accounts from Facebook and sign up through alternate means, if alternate means exist. For some apps, this may mean creating new accounts, which can really make things difficult.

We don’t blame anyone who’s leaving Facebook, although we admit we’ll miss your cat pictures and happy birthday greetings. We’ll keep looking for other options, but for now we’d like to see how Facebook corrects this borderline alarming development.

 

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Social Media: Is Deleting Facebook Really An Option? - Executive Leadership Articles

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