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.


3 thoughts on “You Can’t Just Walk Away

  1. I’m mostly worried about the Facebook of the future. It used to be a user-oriented service. Now it’s more concerned about being an internet power. I don’t like that. It’s a service I use and I’ve been feeling increasingly used by Facebook. We as users – tech experts and librarians or laypeople – need to stand up for ourselves and let Facebook know that we’re not comfortable with the direction in which they are heading. I’m on twitter (@alexlent) and tumblr (

  2. A year later, I’m okay with Facebook. I don’t like that it seems to be at war with Google and I don’t see myself using Facebook as a search tool. But I like that it has teamed up with Groupon and I think using Facebook is a good idea, at least if you’re careful with your privacy settings. Not being on Facebook seems a little odd at this point.

    I do think that users need to let Facebook know that we care about information security (maybe we can do that by how we use our privacy settings), but I don’t think we need to “stand up for ourselves as tech experts and librarians or laypeople” as I put it a year ago. That seems a little dramatic. 🙂

  3. I’m still pretty wary of Facebook. I still detest its attempts to be AOL 2.0. But I’m there. Basically because there are friends and family members I can only keep in good contact with through Facebook. I can live with that.

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