You Can’t Just Walk Away

Gareth-Michael Skarka tweeted this morning:

Deleting Facebook accounts over privacy concerns is the new slacktivist hotness. If you’re concerned about less-savvy users — TEACH THEM.

And he’s absolutely right.

Colleen Harris blogged last week:

It’s not the nerds, social networking experts, librarians, Alex Scobles or other techgeeks Facebooks awful privacy settings take advantage of, though we’re teh ones bitching to high heaven for or against them.

It’s the casual user. It’s your mother, your Aunt Louise, and your next door neighbor. Perhaps it’s you.

And she’s absolutely right.

As a librarian, part of my job is to teach patrons and staff about new technology. As something of a tech geek, I do this in my off-work time, too. I’m always more than happy to teach friends, family, coworkers and complete strangers about the web and social sites, as well as issues surrounding privacy, copyright and general computer use. Walking away from Facebook isn’t just a personal thing, it’s a teaching moment, an opportunity to educate others on privacy and the social web.

If you’re thinking of deleting your Facebook account, or you’re just generally concerned about privacy on the web, or you simply have knowledge about computers and the internet, you need to share with others. Teach people how to protect themselves and to better use this new technology. It ain’t going away any time soon.


Facing Down Facebook

I just deleted my Facebook account. Why?

In part it’s because of my concerns over Facebook’s frequent changing of the goalposts when it comes to privacy. But even more, it’s Facebook’s growth as an all-purpose internet site. To my mind, Facebook is trying to be AOL 2.0–a site that provides you with email, IM, image hosting, blogging, games, etc. I don’t want the internet centralized. I don’t want a one-stop-shop for all things internet. I don’t want One Site to Rule Them All. And I really don’t want the internet simplifed and dumbed down for people. I want people to smart-up for the internet. I want people to learn to use email and instant messaging through the numerous apps and tools available. I want people to learn to use a blogging platform. I want people to learn to use RSS. None of these things are really all that difficult, and outside of Facebook, you can control your privacy a lot more.

If you want to follow my exploits and read my rambling thoughts, read this blog and follow me on Twitter or FriendFeed. If you want to see my photos, check me out on Flickr. If you want to talk to me, email or IM me. But don’t look for me on Facebook, because I won’t be there anymore.