Facebook is dumb and bad and, as we’ve learned with even more clarity this week, evil.
And I’m not leaving.
Yes, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is bad. But it’s also just the latest in a seemingly endless parade of ways in which, if you aren’t willing to go Unabomber-level off the grid, your information is rather terrifyingly vulnerable.
I’m curious how many of the people frantically deleting their accounts — and scolding those of us who haven’t — own an Alexa or a Google Home or even just a smart TV? You know, the appliances with microphones constantly on in your home.
How many of them have lines of credit, use Uber, wear a Fitbit, shop at Target or have a Sony PlayStation? All of those modern advents have been targets of massive data hacks in the recent past.
Technology has always been a disaster waiting to happen. Believe me, I’m an expert, having watched the “Terminator” movies a LOT of times.
Still, you have to pick your battles. And for now, I’m sticking with Facebook, the deeply, deliciously uncool alternative to all other social media.
Instagram? A gorgeous, narcissistic bore. Twitter? A never-ending screechfest of one-liners and political vitriol. Snapchat? Get outta here, I’m over 40.
Facebook, if done right, is the perfect antidote. (There are many ways to do it wrong; I would suggest quietly unfollowing a-holes, baby pic over-posters and angel meme-sharers.) Curated properly, it’s a bunch of old friends randomly checking in with each other for a few minutes each day. Sure, it’s a little dull. Just dull enough not to be a giant time suck.
Of course, there are common-sense rules. Don’t click on or share “news” stories from sketchy sites (and if your vote was actually swayed by what you read on here, you need to get out more). Don’t put FB’s Messenger app on your phone. Don’t take stupid quizzes that harvest your info — and don’t “like” brands. Learn how to make your settings as private as possible. No, it’s not going to totally protect you from data mining; that ship, my friend, sailed a long time ago.
Sue me: I like the hokey birthday greetings and watching friends from different eras of my life swap book recommendations or snark about current events. As a writer, I can crowdsource a question and know smart people will chime in to help. Mostly, I like that we olds have managed to completely colonize the place.
I hope the Federal Trade Commission, now investigating Facebook, slaps the company with a fine huge enough to induce them to shore up privacy protections. I’m also hopeful a less nefarious alternative will surface and that we’ll all migrate over — but it hasn’t happened yet. (Anyone remember Google Plus and Ello? Yeah, me either.)
In the meantime, I’ll be hanging out with the other FB fuddy-duddies. You win this round, Zuckerberg.
Sara Stewart, photo: Shutterstock
source: Shutterstock https://nypost.com/2018/03/20/why-im-still-not-deleting-my-facebook-account/