An Open Book: Why I Don't Have A Facebook

Facebook. Everyone seems to have one. It's the new Myspace. While Myspace seems to lose popularity, Facebook continues to grow. Facebook is a social networking site that enables you to connect with friends from your past and present. It even allows you to connect with your friend's friend. You can find people from school to old coworkers. Even music artists are on Facebook trying to get noticed. Finding out personal things about the people you know and building new relationships has it's appeal. It really does seem like everyone has a Facebook. Everyone except me. Why are people on Facebook? What is the appeal? Why don't I have one? These are some of the questions I find myself asking lately. 


A few days ago, I was at Borders browsing through the August issue of New Scientist magazine when I bumped into an old friend. We made small talk and brought up some fun times from the past. I asked him what he was up to now and he asked me if I had a Facebook. I said, "No" but I took down his full name so I could find him. We both have a mutual friend and this friend of ours has a Facebook. I told him I'll get in touch and we'll chill later. It was a brief meeting and we parted ways.  
 

I haven't had the urge to get an Facebook until that moment. Actually, I lie. I do have a Facebook. Or had a Facebook. However you want to call it. Let me explain. A few years ago when Myspace and Facebook was hot, I opened up a Facebook account as an alt to my Myspace account. At the time, more people were using Myspace so I just wanted a Facebook account as a backup. For some reason I decided that I didn't want to have a Facebook anymore. 


I decided to delete my Facebook account. I didn't like the layout and didn't want to juggle between 2 profile pages. When I went to delete my Facebook profile, the only option I was allowed was the "deactivate" my profile. Wait a second. What gives? I remembered Facebook telling me that my page will be on their server if I decide to return to Facebook. This turned me off more than the thought of Rosanne wearing a thong. So I did a Google search on how to delete my Facebook account and apparently, it was a big hassle. At the time, I had to email Facebook and request that my account be deleted. Can you believe that? I had to contact them and have them manually delete my account.  
 

This incident left a bitter taste in my mouth. Closing my account should not take this much hassle and work. I started to wonder. Why would Facebook try so hard to keep your account? Why is it so hard to delete your Facebook account? Doing a Google search, I ran into some conpiracies behind Facebook's policies. I am not naïve of how the world works and I try to have an open mind about everything. I ran into a youtube video called "Do you have Facebook?" The video connects shady things going on with Facebook and to be honest, I am not surprised at all. Recently, Myspace have been selling data to whoever wants it. I can only imagine the line of insurance and advetisement companies waiting for this juicy information. 


Can you imagine all the wealth of information Facebook owns? In my honest and humble opinion, I believe Facebook is a company aimed primarily at data mining and social networking second. Yes they make it easy to connect to people but the cost is your privacy. If Myspace sells it's data, what makes you think Facebook won't? They are a business and their goal is the bottom line. Obviously Facebook is not the only company that does this. Many companies do this. Some are companies you are not even aware of.  
 

Take for example Stop & Shop cards. They offer you a membership card and by using this card, you can save money on your groceries. What could be the catch? Your privacy. Ever time you use the card, it is likely that the items being purchased are stored in a database ready to be processed for marketing purposes. Imaging a food company knowing what foods you like to eat and then you get flyers in the mail advertising these foods. This is just scratching the surface. Another example is atm debit and credit cards. How do you think banks are able to afford to give you free checking with a free atm service? The old cliche saying stays true. Nothing in life is free, including free checking. These banks promote and want you to use your debit cards so they can keep track of what you buy. They even give you incentives to do this. For example, Bank of America offers Keep The Change. A service where if you use your debit card to make a purchase, they will round that purchase up to the next dollar and transfer the change into your savings account. A brilliant marketing strategy! It really is. The guy that thought of that much have gotten a huge bonus. Imagine millions of American using their debits cards to make millions of purchases. Imagine the data one could extract. "Hmmm it appears that middle class American like to buy X on Fridays. Interesting."  
 

This practice of data mining is everywhere. The problem I see with Facebook is that most people are not aware of it. They do not understand the value of their privacy. Why else would smiling clerks at mall stands stop and ask you to fill out a survey. You mean I will be entered to win a $5,000 shopping spree? Of course! You see, giving up your privacy for compensation is fine as long as it is disclosed to you. I know Facebook has a TOS and they do say that they own everything that gets published on Facebook but many people do not read this. I suppose Facebook isn't to blame but something about this reminds me of a smooth taking salesman selling a Kirby vacuum to an old lady. It's just not right. 


After bumping into my friend, I had to rethink my position on Facebook. Should I sacrifice some of my privacy to connect with my old friends? There are many people I miss from my past and Facebook would be a great way to reconnect with them. From time to time, I like to disappear. I would drop my phone number, or move without telling people. After a while, friends become strangers. Lives change and people move on. I thought about opening a new Facebook. I even thought about using pseudonyms so I can stay anonymous. I've always been a conservative person. Not necessarily politically conservative but I value privacy. My business is my business. I will share it with people I want to share it with. I suppose people have more control over their privacy on Facebook today but the thought that Facebook owns whatever is posted and using that information for advertisement is underhanded in my opinion. Will I reconnect with my friend? Most likely, yes. But I won't open up a Facebook to do it.


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Comments 9 comments

bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

Hey old friend, this is a good one, forget about facebook huh! Nice to see you on 67 hubs now and a new profile picture. Good for you man. All the best


Set's All Set profile image

Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

Thanks bearclaw! I've been at this for a while now. I'm finally seeing success on hubpages. If you need anything, please feel free to let me know. This is one of my personal hub that I'm planning to throw in from time to time. Looks like I'll have more time on my hand. Stay tuned.


dgicre profile image

dgicre 6 years ago from USA

As a persone that never had a face book account I appreciate the info in your hub. Next time I feel the urge to get one I will remember this. Thanks for sharing this information.


Set's All Set profile image

Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

Thanks dgire for the comment! I recently ran into another old friend and the subject of having a Facebook came up again! That didn't work out and we exchanged numbers instead. I will resist!


Eliazar 6 years ago

Another reason that Banks offer incentives to use your debit card as much as possible is because every time you charge an item at a retailer, the retailer is charged a small fee. This is why you'll sometimes see small corner stores that accept cash only. They're barely getting by and can't afford to pay a fee every time someone buys a stick of gum.

Good hub.


Set's All Set profile image

Set's All Set 6 years ago from New England Author

Thank you eliazar! I forgot to mention the bodegas. Good point. Thank you for the comment.


gih poum 4 years ago

i love facbook


MumblyJoe profile image

MumblyJoe 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

Lol, the irony that google's placed an advert for a rushcard in there is not lost on me. I guess they say "debit card" and figured it was worth a shot eh?


Set's All Set profile image

Set's All Set 4 years ago from New England Author

Sometimes I have to wonder what google is doing. I never get income on this hub so I don't know why they think these ads are relevant. BTW, it's been over a years since this post and I still don't have a Facebook. The buzz of Google Plus is getting big though...

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