Down with facebook – why I'm going to minimise my use

I’ve had a Facebook account for about a year. I’ve never really used it beyond making contact with other folk. Have never uploaded any content and tonight I’ve decided to make that permanent. I won’t shut the account down. I’ll keep it open so that friends from the past can find me.

However, I won’t recommend it to folk. Just the opposite, stay away. I also won’t be handing over any of my content.

Why?

Alan Levine has a post that closely resembles my own view. Some long term reserve about Facebook and some recent additional motivation due to the change to the Facebook Tos.

Original qualms

My original qualms were due to not really seeing the point of an integrated, one stop shop like Facebook and being philosophically (i.e. probably unreasonably for most) opposed to integrated software that doesn’t support sharing.

I’m a small pieces loosely joined (it’s a PhD/Webfuse/UNIX command line thing) sort of guy. I use Twitter, have a blog, use photo sharing and slidecast and all on different services. Why would I use a single integrated system? One where I am stuck with whatever crap tools they’ve decided to provide.

What’s worse, it’s been claimed that Facebook is doing what Microsoft did, and we all hate Microsoft. At least I do.

This qualm applies to any of the similar integrated systems – e.g. MySpace etc.

The terms of service

The concerns about the recent change in the terms of service may not be not as bad as some fear. However, for me it’s the hair that’s broken the camel’s back.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

I’m sticking with collection of Web 2.0 tools that I can pick and choose from and connect in ways that suit me. Small pieces loosely joined.

Update: Amanda French has a post that compares the Facebook ToS with those of other services. Interesting read.

On the plus side

Facebook is a pretty easy system to use and the ease of connection between folk, not to mention the sheer number and spread of people on it are all very positive observations in favour of Facebook.

I’m assuming it’s really easy for the less computer savvy to get into and the size of its user population is a big plus.

4 thoughts on “Down with facebook – why I'm going to minimise my use

  1. Seems they have had a change of heard. Upon logging in today there was a note at the top of my feed stating they had reverted to the old ToS for now.

  2. I wondered if that would happen. I wonder what implications this experience will have for the way they do things, in particular, how they prepare the new ToS.

    I still think I’ll minimise my use because of the other reasons. Still a good way for folk from my past to make contact.

    1. You’re right Joe. Or at the very least, they realised that the bad publicity would be bad for business and were pragmatic about it.

      My original objection to Facebook, disliking integrated systems, stands. But that’s a fairly esoteric concern that the ease-of-use and usefulness of Facebook easily overcomes for most.

      David.

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