The trouble with quitting Facebook
Like many other people, I’ve recently considered leaving Facebook. I still get value from it in terms of being able to keep in touch with people easily, even if I rarely bother scrolling through the timeline.
Every time a new data privacy scandal emerges (assuming it’s valid, which some aren’t particularly
), I get a renewed urge to shut down my account. The latest news (summarised in the section above) is really a case of Facebook just putting no real thought into data privacy and controls.
Why should I reward a company so reckless with its users’ data by letting it continue to profit from mine?
But Facebook’s tendrils are so tightly entwined into my my online life that it’s hard to let go. Personally, there are four things keeping me locked into the company’s products:
- The group for local startups that I founded and am an admin for is based on Facebook.
- My account for Final Fantasy Record Keeper, a mobile game I play every day, is connected to Facebook. If I ever want to install the game on a new device across iOS or Android and keep playing where I left off, I need to sign in with Facebook.
- My Spotify account is tied to my Facebook login. It is apparently impossible to move to a dedicated Spotify username and password login without losing all playlists and other data.
- If I’m going to quit ‘the blue app,’ I should really quit Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger too. But I become much harder to contact for many people if I do that.
Oh, and with a busy life, quitting a social network is one of those things that’s always a little bit too much hassle to prioritise.
So I’ll just keep using Facebook, and Facebook will no doubt continue being sloppy with my data, and I’ll continue to resent their data handling practices, and nothing will change.