In the effort to keep this simple and not a rant, this post will assume a few things:
1) You are familiar with the myriad ways Facebook has betrayed users’ assumptions about privacy over the years.
2) You have heard about the study involving manipulation of Facebook users’ emotions.
For me, the study crossed the line regarding privacy. It was too much. I am done with Facebook and set my quit date as July 31st.
An analogy: I still shop at Walmart on occasion. I am aware their best practices aren’t the most savory. I don’t like how they treat employees, ruin small business, or use materials likely made by children. On the big equation, though, I find their general usefulness and charitable donations enough to feel okay with not boycotting them. Besides, every company does it, they just do it best.
If, however, I found out that Walmart had dabbled in sex trafficking a few years back, that would be the line crossed. I would never support that business again. I would discourage others from doing so. I would happily be the crazy lady on the corner with the boycott sign.
You may think this an extreme example, but that’s just how this looks to me. As the above would be Walmart crossing my line on Human Rights, Facebook has crossed my line on privacy. They can say it was a mistake, that it was in the past. They can say they really value your privacy and will never do it again. All Internet use is using your info, right… ? ( “I’m sorry baby I didn’t mean to hurt you.“) As we all know, actions speak louder than words and past behavior is the single best indicator of future behavior.
Yes, friends, I adore you. Yes, Facebook is convenient. It helps me keep up (by barely trying) with individuals and events. In the bigger equation, however, my mental health is too important to me to ignore that crossed line.
And that’s why I am leaving Facebook.