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Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:10 PM

Outside the Facebook wall

As a non-Facebook user, I've been increasingly disturbed over the past few years to see not only the erosion of privacy that comes with dependency on Facebook, but also the insular quality of interactions between Facebook users (to the exclusion of those of us outside the Facebook wall).

Today came the harshest example yet: I took a look at the Facebook page of one of my best friends, for the first time in a long while, and discovered that his mother died fairly unexpectedly -- several weeks ago! So I feel like a jerk for not offering condolences sooner, but I haven't talked to this guy recently, neither he nor his wife emailed or called or wrote with the news, and I didn't hear this sad news from any mutual friends either.

Just the latest reminder that if you're not on Facebook, you assume peripheral status in the lives of many people you may regard as being in your inner circle.

I've chosen to avoid Facebook not because I'm a Luddite -- I work in IT; I've used various computer operating systems for many years; I manage a couple of blogs and a couple of non-profit web sites in my spare time; I use a smartphone; and I try to stay current with fresh technological developments in many areas, because these things interest me. I find Facebook's privacy policies to be untrustworthy, based on many reported incidents and personal observations over the years.

Sure, maybe I should just lighten up and climb over the wall to enjoy the Facebook life -- connected, informed, affirmed, responded-to, etc. But I'm just not feeling it, and don't expect I ever will. Facebook's tracking of members' online activity is scary. Many users agree with me and have filed a class action lawsuit over their policies. So no, I won't be sacrificing my privacy any time soon for the warm, friendly experience that Big Brother Zuckerberg wants to give me.

It's also true that I don't have strong "affiliation needs." I'm not reclusive by any means, but I don't need constant affirmation from -- and contact with -- friends and acquaintances either. You wanna talk to me? It's pretty easy -- give me a holler, ping me, stop by the house, meet me for a beer, whatever. I don't necessarily care to join 500 of your closest friends to read online what you're eating tonight, what funny cat video you just discovered, or how many people "Like" your vacation photos. But if you're my friend and it's you and me talking or hanging out, pretty much whatever comes up is cool. (And yes, btw, I do love funny cat videos, so let's laugh at a couple together over a beer.)

I know many people love and use Facebook daily. If you are one of them, please don't take this personally -- I'm not condemning Facebook users or saying they're all narcissists. But I am really disturbed by what it's doing to relationships. And I'm not giving up (what's left of) my privacy just to be on the other side of the wall with you.

Sure, Facebook is great for members to stay in touch with other Facebook members. Life inside the wall can be rewarding. There are many happy stories of people connecting with old friends via Facebook and deepening emotional connections with those they already know. I'm not talking about all that. I'm talking about the wall that Facebook puts up between us, between those of you on the inside of the wall and those few pathetic losers like me outside the wall.

Ultimately, this is really just a plea for those inside the Facebook wall to fold up a note into a paper airplane and send it over the wall now and then, or maybe puff up a smoke signal the rest of us can see. We miss you.

Pardon the rant -- just had to get this off my chest.

69 replies, 5919 views

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Arrow 69 replies Author Time Post
Reply Outside the Facebook wall (Original post)
klook Mar 2013 OP
Phentex Mar 2013 #1
upaloopa Mar 2013 #6
tblue37 Mar 2013 #66
ieoeja Mar 2013 #2
datasuspect Mar 2013 #4
BellaKos Mar 2013 #3
monmouth3 Mar 2013 #7
BellaKos Mar 2013 #8
freshwest Mar 2013 #22
SoCalDem Mar 2013 #20
Blanks Mar 2013 #5
Flashmann Mar 2013 #9
klook Mar 2013 #11
Quantess Mar 2013 #10
klook Mar 2013 #12
Quantess Mar 2013 #14
klook Mar 2013 #16
green for victory Mar 2013 #13
klook Mar 2013 #19
green for victory Mar 2013 #23
klook Mar 2013 #26
snagglepuss Mar 2013 #51
Johonny Mar 2013 #15
klook Mar 2013 #18
Prism Mar 2013 #17
pipi_k Mar 2013 #58
Prism Mar 2013 #65
forestpath Mar 2013 #21
union_maid Mar 2013 #24
marions ghost Mar 2013 #49
snagglepuss Mar 2013 #52
Lex Mar 2013 #25
klook Mar 2013 #27
Lex Mar 2013 #29
klook Mar 2013 #30
thetruthhurtsforsome Mar 2013 #28
snagglepuss Mar 2013 #53
thetruthhurtsforsome Mar 2013 #56
TM99 Mar 2013 #31
klook Mar 2013 #32
TM99 Mar 2013 #60
Ron Obvious Mar 2013 #33
klook Mar 2013 #35
Ron Obvious Mar 2013 #36
klook Mar 2013 #37
marions ghost Mar 2013 #50
snagglepuss Mar 2013 #54
klook Mar 2013 #63
IDemo Mar 2013 #34
klook Mar 2013 #39
WilliamPitt Mar 2013 #38
klook Mar 2013 #42
WilliamPitt Mar 2013 #45
hunter Mar 2013 #40
backtoblue Mar 2013 #41
klook Mar 2013 #44
Puzzledtraveller Mar 2013 #43
klook Mar 2013 #46
Puzzledtraveller Mar 2013 #48
CJCRANE Mar 2013 #47
klook Mar 2013 #55
LWolf Mar 2013 #57
klook Mar 2013 #59
LWolf Mar 2013 #68
klook Mar 2013 #69
lynne Mar 2013 #61
Skidmore Mar 2013 #67
Dorian Gray Mar 2013 #62
Tikki Mar 2013 #64

Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:18 PM

1. I feel very much the same...

and now many things require a facebook account just to get information. I go to my kids for that if it's something I really need.

My biggest reason is my family. I hear from them individually about something someone else posted on Facebook and there's much conjecture as to why. The last thing I need is one of them second guessing my motives.

I can't tell you how many times someone on both sides of the family assumes I got a piece of their news because it was on Facebook. Guess they have too many people to realize I'm not one of their followers.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:45 PM

6. I have a Facebook account but rarely use it.

I know I lost some friends by supporting gay rights activists but I feel I would not like to keep them for friends if that's how they feel. The activists were more friendly to me in any case.
That is about the best use of Facebook I can think off. People who turn on you and scrape you off aren't really friends and Facebook helps with that.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:28 AM

66. Right. I needed to use babel fish.com for a quick translation

of a Japanese word Thursday evening, but I couldn't get access unless I "liked" the site on Facebook. Needless to say, I went to Google translations instead for the information I needed, even though I actually do have a Facebook page. I never use it for my own stuff, and certainly I don't "like" stuff on Fb.

I just joined Fb so I could access the photographs of my friends and family, mainly my daughter's. But she took her site down last year, because she now works with NASA, and many government agencies frown on Fb sites for employees. My son also works for the government--the State Department--so he never set up a Facebook site in the first place.

But many of my friends, as well as my other family--including my extended family on my father's side--are all on Fb, so I like to visit their sites to see photos sometimes and to find out what is going on. Also, sometimes when following a news story I go to a relevant Fb site to see more info.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:31 PM

2. You are not alone. Facebook effectively ended 90% of my friendships.

 


"Where were you" has become their standard greeting of me anymore. They don't even use the Invite function of Facebook. They assume I see everything they post on Facebook and therefore should know they were going to whatever.


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Response to ieoeja (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:37 PM

4. was talking to a guy in a bar in town last week

 

he's going through a divorce after being married for 18 years.

said "damn wife" and "damn computer" and "goddamn facebook" a few times.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:35 PM

3. Well, welcome to my exclusive club.

There are six of us who don't use Facebook. Now, with you, we have seven.
I agree with you on so many levels. And I've had a similar experience where family members thought I had been informed of an event, when the only notice of it was on FB.

My problem with it, in addition to the privacy issues you've mentioned (from I T experince, too), is that the relationships conjured on FB aren't real. It's not real to announce something and then wait for one hundred responses. It's not real to expose something and then wait for the "likes" that supposedly signify validation.
A real *relationship* is one on one. A conversation. A two-way exchange. Either via email. Or telephone. Or even a Halmark card. That's real. That's getting to know someone.
So, I don't know what FB is -- other than a virtual lifescape. Not real. Not meaningful. Not important.

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Response to BellaKos (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:45 PM

7. And I'm eight. Since my family are all right wing nutty repubs I just had to get off of Facebook.

I have lost most of my e-mail buddies which suits me just fine. It took me a long time to get away from Facebook, someone told me it takes a year and don't dare log back on or you're a part of that community again..

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Response to monmouth3 (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:50 PM

8. Welcome, Eight!

Well, yeah. There's that. The RW crap.

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Response to monmouth3 (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:33 PM

22. Also.

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Response to BellaKos (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:59 PM

20. I'll join your group too

I do have a fb account..not in my real name..no gender listed and I never "like" or comment..

I go there to see pics that my kids post..I do not like the format and I always feel like an eavesdropper ..I don't want to know every gory detail of my kids' adult lives & the lives of their pals..

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:45 PM

5. I check Facebook daily.

Unfortunately, crap that I read from family and friends; is typically debunked by snopes already.

Lately the only thing I post is the snopes link that shows folks that the feel good conservative 'story' that they just shared; was made up out of whole cloth.

I much prefer the message board format for discussion too.

I expect Facebook will lose favor one day and be replaced by something better.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 04:28 PM

9. Count me as #9

Never had it....Don't need ......Don't want it...

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Response to Flashmann (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:00 PM

11. I can actually see the value of online social networking sites.

I think the concept is potentially valid. I just don't want to channel so many communications, interactions, preferences, and experiences through a corporate entity who counts as one of its main values the violation of its members' privacy. As Andrew Lewis wrote on Metafilter, "If you're not paying for it, you're not the customer. You're the product being sold."

As noted in the OP, I am also very disturbed at the insular quality of Facebook and the segregation of non-members into a kind of social ghetto.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 04:48 PM

10. Chuckling about the facebook narcissism jab.

I wonder why it's restricted to the 18 to 25 year old group though? I know a couple of 35 to 40 year olds who I would consider to be somewhat "facebook narcissists".

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Response to Quantess (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:11 PM

12. I'm sure there are a few in every age bracket,

but for me narcissism isn't the primary problem with Facebook. As I noted in the OP, "I'm not condemning Facebook users or saying they're all narcissists." Hardly a jab.

My primary problem with Facebook is the insular character of the extended Facebook community (and the ostracization, whether explicit or implicit, of those of us on the outside).

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Response to klook (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:25 PM

14. I like facebook partly for the little things you find out about people.

It's like seeing a different facet of people, in many cases.
Also, there are cliques of acquaintances who were not necessarily close friends in real life in high school, but we are all facebook friends. But of course it all depends on how you use facebook.

I kind of need it because I moved far away and I don't have many friends here.

Most of us realize that real life is where the action is, though. You might just be overstating the "ostracization".

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Response to Quantess (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:33 PM

16. When a couple of friends of mine moved to another town,

I gave their contact info to some other friends of mine living there -- one a Facebook user, and the other not. The FB-user friend had a party and announced it only on Facebook. The non-FB friend, who is good "real life" friend of the FB-user friend, didn't find out about the party and therefore missed a chance to meet this cool couple.

Not the end of the world, but it illustrates the "implicit ostracization" phenomenon.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:23 PM

13. The US Needs a law like Europe

 

and everyone should know exactly what info farcebook collects and stores.

"Every person in the EU has the right to access all the data that a company is holding about him/her."

00. Target
00. Date Range
-----------------
01. About Me
02. Account End Date
03. Account Status History
04. Address
05. Alternate Name
06. Applications
07. Chat
08. Checkins
09. Connections
10. Credit Cards
11. Currency
12. Current City

13. Date of Birth
14. Education
15. E-Mails
16. Events
17. Family
18. Favourite Quotes
19. Friend Requests
20. Friends
21. Gender
22. Groups
23. Hometown
24. Last Location
25. Linked Accounts
26. Locale
27. Logins

28. Machines
29. Messages
30. Minifeed
31. Name
32. Name Changes
33. Networks
34. Notes
35. Notification Settings
36. Notifications
37. Password
38. Phone Numbers
39. Photos
40. Physical Tokens
41. Pokes
42. Political Views

43. Privacy Settings
44. Profile Blurb
45. Realtime Activities
46. Recent Activities
47. Registration Date
48. Relationship
49. Religious Views
50. Removed Friends
51. Screen Names
52. Shares
53. Status Updates
54. Vanity
55. Wallposts
56. Website
57. Work

http://europe-v-facebook.org/EN/Data_Pool/data_pool.html

And farcebook isn't the only business tracking and recording. Everyone reading this probably has a bunch of "flash cookies" that never get erased (unless it's by the user) and can linger for years, tracking and recording.

See if your computer is infected: Search C: for *.sol and be prepared to be amazed.

Here's Austrian Max Schrems holding the data that farcebook collected after *ONE YEAR* of "membership"



farcebook is just prodigy or compuserve for the 2000's. It's a fad, and hopefully it will be over soon.

F Suckerberg!

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Response to green for victory (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:47 PM

19. That's a scary list.

And this is an excellent idea. Many Americans don't seem to give a shit about their privacy and won't demand this, but if enough do, we could make some progress.

It's interesting to note also that Germany won its case against Google's Street View photos as a breach of privacy. Are average Americans awake and aware enough to even care?

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Response to klook (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:36 PM

23. privacy for me but not for thee

 

as a huge fan of street view (couldn't live without it!) I can see that I'm a bit hypocritical! I know goog records all clicks and locales visited, but at least it isn't listed under my name with all the other identifiable nuggets.

But I can see real privacy concerns with that too-
I went exploring places I used to live or work and came upon this:

[IMG][/IMG]

With image enhancement and magnification I can just about read the label on the black canister in the right rear. There are places I have "visited" in Italy for example where the street view camera is at the same level as the ground floor of the houses, and if the window is open the whole house contents are visible.

I wouldn't want my garage contents available to anyone clicking a mouse. let alone the inside of my house. And my garage isn't as clean as the one above... But I've been able to virtually travel to so many places I would never have had the money or time to see, and the fascination with the whole thing hasn't subsided. Ever wondered what Stonehenge looks like up close? Or downtown Hong Kong? Or the Dalton Highway in AK?

Street view is kind of like fire, couldn't live without it, but it's dangerous as hell.

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Response to green for victory (Reply #23)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:53 PM

26. Wow, interesting

My only personal complaint with Street View is that they took the picture of my house on a bleak winter day, and before we'd done any landscaping! So if we ever sell the place I'll have to hope no potential buyers look it up that way!

The kind of photo you show here really is concerning, though -- I can see this easily slipping into invasive territory.

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Response to green for victory (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 04:31 PM

51. Search C: for *.sol . I'll do that. Thanks.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:32 PM

15. Isn't this like someone in 1970 complaining about all his friends using telephones.

I am shocked I tell you shocked that people use social media. I am equally shocked that the people that don't use it wake up surprised to be falling behind in the their friends social interaction. If you exclude yourself from one of the primary social interaction shifts of your life time, then in no way should you be surprise that you suddenly find yourself outside the loop. Your friends aren't being narcissists anymore than the people in the 1970s missing you on their call circle because you chose not to have a phone. Social media is popular and here to stay. You can choose not to use it but you shouldn't be surprised it has actual social repercussions. This is what I would classify as a U problem. Where you make a choice and then blame others for totally predictable consequences I think your friends are probably normal average Americans, and you either need to accept social media or feel fine knowing 99% of it is noise but you might miss a death notice or two based on your choice.

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Response to Johonny (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:39 PM

18. I didn't say my friends on Facebook are being narcissists, and don't pretend that I did.

And your attempt to ridicule my stance as a Luddite response comparable to rejection of telephones might make slightly more sense if you chose a date like 1930 instead of 1970.

But, whatever.

I don't consider it "normal average" behavior to announce really personal information only via Facebook and *not* via email, snail mail, or telephone. It's behavior that's been distorted by the insular "Isn't everybody on Facebook?" attitude.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 05:37 PM

17. I use Facebook to get away from people

 

It sounds counterintuitive at first, but for me, Facebook allows the illusion of intimacy where I don't particularly desire any. I'm an insular type, only have two or three regular close friends I care to spend time with in person. What to do with the wider social circle of friends, family, and acquaintances?

Friend them! They will never talk to you while still feeling connected and in the loop.

I never have to talk, text, or email these people. It's wonderful.

It sounds a bit jerky, for certain. But I really am a social isolate and get agitated/exhausted/bored silly when I'm forced into multiple, multi-person social functions on a regular basis. Facebook allows me to eschew that sort of thing without offending anyone. No one feels ignored as long as they figure you keep up with their updates.

It's win-win for me.

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Response to Prism (Reply #17)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 09:39 AM

58. Thank you for

describing exactly how I feel about this also.

I wasn't sure of how to word it.

I want social interaction...but then I don't.

Connecting via Facebook gives me the level and type of social interaction I can deal with and control because of social anxiety disorder.

I can make a comment every now and then, or "like" someone's post or photo.

I stay in the loop without feeling overwhelmed by anxiety.

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #58)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 02:56 PM

65. Exactly =)

 

I have a high stress job and usually have projects on the weekends, so I don't often have "out" in me. But I'd still like to keep in contact with people I know, so Facebook allows that kind of maintainence without a constant physical commitment.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:26 PM

21. I feel the same way you do. I don't use Facebook.

 

Email and phone are it for me. So far my friends who are on FB still contact me that way when something significant happens.

Even if it didn't have so many privacy issues, I wouldn't use FB just because it is so much work. And I can't stand the way it is designed - my brain just doesn't work that way. I learned/taught myself how to design and create websites myself back in the the 90's and was considered a "power user" at work before I retired so it certainly isn't a case of being a technophobe - I just don't like Facebook and won't be guilted or shamed into using it.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:44 PM

24. I use it lightly, don't much like it

Everyone I know is on it, which, as far as I'm concerned is part of the problem. I don't care for the way worlds collide. I much preferred the web when it was all messageboards. I don't hide anything much about myself, but there are still things I discuss more with a given group of people more than others. My husband's family and our immediate family know we all get along better when we don't discuss politics, for instance. I have lots of other friends with whom I do discuss it. It's a pain to keep those things separate on FB. And then there's work. If I want to be silly with social friends, I don't necessarily want to do it in front of the people I work with. So, just don't care for it much.

I can also relate to what you're saying about letting people know things. My sister-in-law's mother died and my brother-in-law announced it on FB and didn't even message everyone. Totally missed it.

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Response to union_maid (Reply #24)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 03:34 PM

49. Yes it is the colliding worlds problem

...I have separate worlds I don't want to throw together --not for any big clashes, mainly just because it would be too confusing to me and the groups don't have anything in common with each other. So I use it for one group only, and that in a limited way. My close family members I ONLY email and want to keep it that way since I relate to them all differently. Plus the privacy issues really are a big concern with FB.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #49)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 04:35 PM

52. I too relate to everyone I know differently so I don't use fb. Actually

I am flabbergasted learning that most people relate to all the people they know the same way.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 06:49 PM

25. You know, YOU can call your friends on the phone and keep up with them that way.

The phone thing isn't a one-way deal. You act like you are offended no one calls you to pass along news, but you can call them, right?



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Response to Lex (Reply #25)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 07:01 PM

27. I wasn't offended, just dismayed.

I did call my friend today as soon as I found out the sad news. And we'd already made plans to visit him & his wife later this year.

But hey, if you want to be offended because you think I was offended, I guess I can't stop you.

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Response to klook (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 07:09 PM

29. Not offended in the least, but why light a candle when you can

curse the darkness, eh? Picking up the phone and giving folks a call isn't too hard. Why must you wait for them "to fold up a note into a paper airplane and send it over the wall now and then, or maybe puff up a smoke signal . . ."?

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Response to Lex (Reply #29)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 07:16 PM

30. Oh, brother

Without going into further detail about my recent personal interactions with my friends, let me just say I have corresponded with them recently, and they didn't mention the death in the family. I don't blame them -- after all, they're grieving. As am I -- the mother was a friend of mine, too.

I curse Facebook and the social alienation it engenders, not my friends.

Did I mentioned I called my friend today? Still want to pile on?

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 07:07 PM

28. I always thought of FB and Twitter as something for people without lives to follow those with lives

 

none of my friends are on FB, Twitter or any other social media site. I don't even own a smart phone, old flip phone still makes good calls. Besides why pay $100 mo to make phone calls. But to each their own some choose to freely give their money to corporations who track everything they do and some of us don't.

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Response to thetruthhurtsforsome (Reply #28)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 04:38 PM

53. Why give money to corporations who track everything. Nail meet hammer.

Welcome to DU.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #53)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 05:51 AM

56. One cannot be enslaved if one does not participate

 

We the people have the power to fight back. Corporations cannot stay in power unless they have our money why give it willingly for something one does not really need? Yes I understand the need for them for one’s job but are you paying for it or is your company seeing that they are the ones making it a job requirement?

It is difficult to fight back via the ballot and armed insurrection is frowned upon however one can easily fight back every time they spend money.

It is up to us as individuals to fight back and if you are not willing to fight back every day, then you are nothing more than a willing slave to the corporations.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 11:08 AM

31. I am also a part of the non-Facebook group.

 

As a psychologist, I will condemn Facebook for encouraging by its very nature the inherent tendency towards narcissism. Since its inception, even among those who one would not expect it from, the growing trend of the types of behavior you are describing is on the rise.

I am also on the periphery of the IT industry having programmed since I got my Apple II in the late 1970's. I am definitely not a Luddite either. I completely agree about the privacy issues and simply refuse to use Facebook.

Unfortunately this is becoming a problem. It is become harder to sign up for things without having a Facebook profile. If you remember, and I am sure you do, the walled-garden of AOL in the 1990's, Facebook is that on steroids. But like AOL, we can only hope that eventually it will die off as something else replaces it, however, I am not optimistic that it will occur as Facebook has too many relationships with the big boys of IT (Microsoft & Apple) and is on too many iDevices.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #31)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 12:37 PM

32. Walled garden

Thanks for your perspective -- most interesting.

Yes, I certainly do remember the AOL "walled garden" -- all too well (and the maddening avalanche of useless CDs they used to send in the mail). AOL became an all-in-one service for many users, providing a safe, guided, easy-to-use subset of the Internet.

It seems to me that Facebook wants something similar, but different in a couple of respects. Facebook's goal is to have its users rely on it for as much online activity as possible (thus offering up juicy data mining opportunities for Facebook's real customers), and many of the 900+ million seem to be falling in line. But FB seems to be more like a constant companion (albeit one that helps and nudges and spies and reports on everything you do on line), rather than a subset of the Internet.

As you know, Facebook collects a lot of information about its devotees... er, users ... and their habits. Just taking a look at the cookies, databases, and history that are stored on your machine and shared with your online overseers (using an application like Cookie for the Mac, for example), would be a deterrent, you would think. This kind of snooping bothers the hell out of me, but for millions of Facebook users this is shrug-worthy at best.



Many, many people are willing to sacrifice privacy as "just part of living in the modern world," apparently. They're willing to cough up this surveillance data on themselves, for what? The convenience? The rush of affirmation and connectedness? Not having ever succumbed, I confess I don't understand the motivations.

When I tell people I'm not on Facebook, I often get the same reaction -- a look that combines confusion, fear, and disgust, as though I had three heads, or maybe told them I was a Communist vegan child molester. (Just for the record, I'm not any of those. )

Occasionally the reaction is a sheepish admission along the lines of "I don't really use it much, but I have an account because it's the only way my nephews / nieces / children / grandchildren etc. will talk to me." I smile politely, all the while smacking my inner forehead -- does Facebook really have its tentacles this deeply intertwined in people's lives? I guess it does. And, although I'd love to see it die tomorrow, I don't think it's going away any time soon.

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Response to klook (Reply #32)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:34 PM

60. You are welcome.

 

I agree in part. No Facebook is not a subset like AOL was. It is far worse in my opinion. Facebook desires to be that 'constant companion' to the point where it is synonymous with the Internet. They want you to be logged-in and accessing their servers 24/7 where ever you are on the net.

I am constantly finding sites where I can log in without creating a unique ID at that site. All I need to do is log in through my Facebook account, which I never intend to get. Will it time come when a Facebook account becomes an Internet ID of sorts? Microsoft tried it with OnePass, I believe it was called, and failed. Social networking is now sold to millions who simply accept it as 'the new normal'. Facebook might just succeed.

There are cross-postings to Facebook everywhere - eBay, Amazon, etc. Hell, even my bank has connections to Facebook. All, yes, millions just shrug it off saying there is no privacy today anyway. What do you have to hide? But there is still. It takes me a bit of effort (using different browsers, using blocking extensions, managing my cookies manually instead of automagically, proxy's, etc.) and I leave a very small footprint on the net.

Of course, I am looked at as if I am a criminal as they are the ones who normally use such measures to avoid detection and hide their tracks.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 12:47 PM

33. K&R

I feel the same way you do, and I've had the exact same experiences.

I am however, a recluse. To me Facebook is doubly horrifying. I created a dummy account with my email address only once and zero activity. I still get near daily emails with "Facebook thinks you may know...." And the scary thing is that I do... vaguely...

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #33)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 01:33 PM

35. If I may make a suggestion,

if you just want a dummy FB account, why not try this?

1. Delete your current Facebook account.

2. Completely sanitize your system(s) of all cookies, history, & databases related to Facebook.

3. Create a temporary disposable email address that you will use only for Facebook. Set it up to forward to a real email address, preferably one that's not published anywhere.

4. Create an identity that you'll use only for Facebook. You can have a little fun and mess with their business model at the same time!



5. Sign up for a new dummy FB account using the disposable email address and fake identity. (I'm not advising this so you can do anything nefarious, just so you can maintain your anonymity and put one more tiny grain of sand in the gears of the Facebook leviathan by adding useless data to their database.)

6. Every time you sign on to FB, use an anonymizer like TOR and/or private browsing mode to minimize the chance of exposing your personal information.

7. Every time you sign out of FB, delete all traces of your activity that have been stored on your system -- cookies, history, and databases. Here are some good links for a start:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=delete+cookies+history+databases

Not trying to tell you how to run your life, but these are the things I'd do if I wanted to use a dummy Facebook account.

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Response to klook (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 01:46 PM

36. Sounds like a lot of work...

I never even log on to Facebook, not even to deny friend requests. I only created the account so that somebody else couldn't create it pretending to be me (long story).

It sounds like you know a lot more about this than I do. I use noscript, adblock, flashblock & ghostery, denying all social media script access. I also have an extension that deletes my flash cookies upon exit. Is that sufficient, you think?

Appreciate the suggestions.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #36)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 01:54 PM

37. LOL, I guess you're right

What you're doing is probably plenty -- especially if you never log on to FB.

Thanks for chiming in.

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Response to klook (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 04:22 PM

50. thanks for this info

I have to do facebook for a business purpose

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Response to klook (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 04:43 PM

54. I have a dummy account but being a techno-moron, I never thought I had to take any precautions.

Thanks for posting.

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Response to klook (Reply #35)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 01:54 PM

63. FYI, on Step 3 (temporary email address)...

I've learned that Facebook won't accept a Spamex address (the example I gave). So you would have to create an address using another service.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 01:27 PM

34. There were numerous FB alternatives in the works a while ago

without the prying Zuckerberg syndrome. I wouldn't be averse to using one of them, but it seems the "everyone ELSE is on Facebook...what's your problem?" attitude will more than likely prevent any of them from gaining a significant following.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #34)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:14 PM

39. Yes, I've read about a couple but not tried them.

Diaspora and Unthink (which is currently just a placeholder), for example.

I've heard of others as well. None of them probably stand a chance of replacing Facebook, but at least they may offer a viable alternative for those who would like to be involved with a social network but detest Facebook and/or its policies.

Google+ doesn't excite me, because -- as part of Google -- it is, of course, evil. (I use duckduckgo for searches to avoid Google's clutches.)

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 01:55 PM

38. Ermahgerd, Facebook is errvil

 

I don't get it. If you don't want information on the web, don't put it there. The idea that Facebook tracks the things you 'Like' might be the most unsurprising thing I've ever heard in my life.

Facebook people have email addresses, telephones, and/or places of residence. If you miss your friends on Facebook, use those highly reliable technologies to keep in touch.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #38)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:34 PM

42. Um, yeah...

Of course people can control their privacy on line, if they're technically savvy enough and willing to take the time to do so. And I do.

My primary concern, as expressed by myself and others throughout this thread, is the alienation and separation that Facebook use can feed. Obviously, I'm in the minority among web users and I'm sure among DUers.

I agree with you on many things, Will. I guess this won't be one of them. I look forward to continuing to read your posts and exchanging ideas with you on other topics.

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Response to klook (Reply #42)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:44 PM

45. Cheers.

 

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:15 PM

40. I've locked facebook out.

I don't see facebook "like" buttons or anything else.

Frankly, I am a recluse, and not a member of any "social network" beyond the DU Lounge.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:21 PM

41. agree 100% fellow other-side-of-the-wall-er!

I've had friends call me up very upset with me because I didn't come by or call when their cat died or when they were "having a hard time". I had to remind them that I don't have a facebook and that I love them dearly and wish they would have called me and let me know- I would've been there for them.


But, alas, I am the one living in the dark ages and standoffish because I won't conform to a digital society of ultimate disconnectedness and lack of actual human contact. (my hypocrisy only goes to DU, lol)


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Response to backtoblue (Reply #41)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:41 PM

44. Fortunately the friends I mention in the OP didn't get their necks out of joint

and neither did I, FWIW. As expressed above, I was dismayed by the experience, not offended or angered at the individuals.

And I had a very nice, warm couple of phone calls with them yesterday afternoon and evening, where I could let them know, in real time, how much I care about them and how much I regret never laughing and sharing ideas with my friend's wonderful mother again. And the feeling was mutual. So, ultimately, everything is cool.

I sure do hate Facebook, though. It's become more of an obstacle to deepening relationships than a help, in my experience.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:36 PM

43. I'm only on it for the hope that if my son tried to find me one day

he may locate me that way. I raised a little boy as my own since he was born, I even signed the birth certificate. After 5 years his mother and I divorced, my biggest mistake was not claiming him as a child of the marriage in the divorce decree. When she remarried she began to cut off communication between my son and I. She moved to Texas, so I hired a lawyer in Ky and Tx and for about three years tried to establish some legal rights. The final decision was heart breaking, and even though the Judge openly commended my effort she didn't have a choice. You could see it in her face, she actually in the court room said she wished she could make a different decisions but ultimately I had no legal grounds to sue for any form of parental rights, custody, visitation etc. All because I wanted to spare my son a messy divorced and did not dispute anything. I trusted the verbal agreement his mother and I made that I would have him on the weekends, I even paid her child support voluntarily, she kept her end of agreement for about a year and a half. When she remarried, the new guy wanted me out of her life and my sons life. I last saw him on New Years Day 2005. My heart has been broken ever since.

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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #43)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 02:46 PM

46. Oh my gosh, so sorry to hear this.

And if I were in your shoes, I'd be "out" on Facebook, youtube, Twitter, and whatever else I could to make sure my son could find me.

I had a similar divorce many years ago, one in which the nominal 51-49 split might as well have been 100-0 as far as decision making went. I was eventually able to rebuild the relationships with my kids, after they were out from under the influence.

I wish you a happy reunion with your beautiful boy one day.

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Response to klook (Reply #46)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 03:13 PM

48. Thank you


I have debated putting it all out there. Photos, memoirs. I have a lot. In fact I had more than what she kept, she never seemed invested in her own child, it was evident the bond never took hold with his mother but it did with me. He had to be formula fed so I was up nights with him when he was infant, all the critical stages that he would normally have bonded with his mother. That being said I have almost all of his baby artifacts, toys, photos, even the recording of the birth. He will need this one day and I have safeguarded all of it as well as keep sakes from his biological grandmother who thankfully was very supportive of my endeavor. Because of her aid to me she was effectively cut off from his life also.

I have to contemplate who is this form my son, or me? He has a life absent of me, what memories he has of his "daddy" have no doubt been corrupted by his mother and adopted father, yes, they found a way for him to be adopted. I have struggled with the urge to actively seek him out, to put my story out there but I could cause him more hurt, more pain that way. It may be better for the truth to speak for itself, in time, and he will come looking for me. I told him one thing when I last saw him, not to be afraid, and that if he was ever lost, to look for the lighthouse. I collect lighthouses and had a lighthouse ceramic lamp I put in the window and kept on for years.

I am also afraid too. My nephew who he played with when we would visit had found him on Facebook, and there was a photo of him but no requests were accepted, my nephew tried, and he reported later that it had been taken down. I never looked at the photo, I was too scared to see just how much he had grown, how long we have been apart. My wish is he remembers me as his daddy and one day know that I fought hard for him.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 03:02 PM

47. The beauty of facebook IMO is that it's easy to find and contact people.

You don't need to search around for a current email address, phone number or physical address - you just look for their name.

If I started again I wouldn't friend anyone, I would just use it as a mailbox for people to find and message me.

The trouble is that once you friend people you're a captive audience for (in some cases) passive aggressive status updates directed at no one in particular. It's that indirect communication that I hate because you don't know who it's aimed at. (I know can you can hide them but even so you end up looking at them somehow because that person attracts your attention, by liking something you posted, for example).

And it's also hard to know how many friends is enough, who to reply to on status updates, what status updates and comments to like, worrying about why certain people don't want to friend you, other people wondering why you don't comment on or like their posts...

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #47)

Thu Mar 14, 2013, 05:05 PM

55. Interesting - thanks for the info.

Not being a Facebooker, I'm ignorant of most of these details you mention. It's certainly changed the way people interact and find each other -- like so many things, it's a mix of good and bad. For some the good outweighs the bad, but as you note there is still just the damned noise of it all. I'm sure it's a challenge to manage that.

I think I would definitely have problems saying No to friends and toning down the chatter. Perhaps this is one of the "background" reasons I've avoided FB.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 08:42 AM

57. I look at it once a day. For about 5 minutes.

I don't give it my whole name. I don't post my picture. I don't play games or share information. I use it to keep up with friends who aren't local; I've got 25 or so across the country. That, and a few groups.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #57)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 10:36 AM

59. Good strategy, but

wouldn't it be nice if you could get your friends' updates emailed to you in a digest every day? Or if you could subscribe to them via an RSS feed?*

But no, Facebook demands that you log on to your account, thus giving them an opportunity to deposit more cookies on your machine.

* If there is a way to do this without logging on to FB, somebody please let me know!

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Response to klook (Reply #59)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:38 AM

68. I liked it better when we just emailed.

They don't use email anymore; I have to FB to keep in touch.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #68)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:58 AM

69. With ya there

I'm looking around for a solution that would enable me to receive FB posts via email, RSS feed, or some kind of aggregator without having to log on (or at least via a dummy account whose cookies and databases will be instantly wiped) -- if such a thing exists.

Facebook's entire business model is based on data mining and selling info about members' purchases, habits, and interests -- which REALLY creeps me out, by the way. So they've probably blocked all ways of doing what I'm talking about. But I will research this and post a report if I find anything useable.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:59 PM

61. I understand what you're saying but FB has only improved relationships for me -

- as it's put me back in touch with old friends and keeps me up-to-date on others. The real reason I joined was to keep tabs on my then teenage children. While keeping tabs on them, I began to find old friends and current ones on FB.

You're right, I'm not as much in touch with my friends that aren't on FB. But I wasn't as much in touch with them BEFORE FB, either. I didn't send them emails every time there was an event in my life but I do show major life events on FB. I didn't send pics via email but I do upload them on FB. Those who wish to see them can, the rest can ignore them.

My FB friends will obviously be more in tune with what's going on in my life as they see status updates and pictures. And those friends not on FB might feel left out but the reality is that my relationship with them hasn't changed at all. What has changed is that FB friends are getting details about my life that I would not have normally shared through an individual email.

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Response to lynne (Reply #61)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 11:34 AM

67. I have had the same experience with the added bonus

that I have made many new friends from all over the world. I've learned about places I will never get to visit in my lifetime. I also have acquired a close group of six friends from various countries and we communicate daily in a private group. Our daughters have joined us and we have been with each other through serious illnesses, weddings, deaths, just plain old grumpy morning stuff, new recipes, old hurts, aches and pains. We have talked to each other on the phone and a couple of the group have met face to face finally. I would not trade these friends, who I would not have met but for Facebook, for some of those I grew up with.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 01:12 PM

62. Facebook for me

is about keeping up with friends and family baby pictures. And for that purpose, it serves me well. I skim it twice a day. Morning and night. Most of my friends still send paper invites or separate evites to functions. And we still use the phone once in awhile. So I feel connected to my close friends.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2013, 02:06 PM

64. I don't facebook...I don't know what number here I am..




Tikki

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