On Thursday morning, Facebook forced me over to their new Timeline layout. For me, this was the last straw.
I’ve been thinking about it for a while (ever since I realised how much information about someone could actually be obtained from Facebook) but now I’ve actually completely stopped using Facebook for all social interactions.
So that means no more:
- Trivalous conversations on chat
- Pointless slightly-humerous status updates which no one cares about
- ‘Liking’ things
- Divulging information about myself
- Having 200 photos of myself tagged
- Anything else that allows people to find out too much about me.
Of course, too many others still use Facebook for me to ignore it completely. I’m still keeping my account open to keep up to track with what’s happening, and if some people need to contact me I can reply with my email address.
My basic problem with the new Timeline layout (apart from being far too cluttered) is it allows anyone to go right back to any post I’ve made. Ever! Of course, this option already existed with ‘see more info’, but now it makes it easy for anyone to do it (not just those who are intent and practiced in stalking).
This basically led to me trawling through and deleting/hiding things that I didn’t want anyone to see. I know there is the whole group option which lets you keep info hidden from certain people. The problem there is that someone we might have considered an acquantince could suddenly be grouped as ‘close friend’. In that case they’d be able to go back and see everything they had missed, and the user would be completely unawares of it until the close friend says: “I can’t believe you posted that about me after last year’s Christmas party!”
This is just one example. I’m sure you can easily see how people changing groups can mess up your perceived security levels. Another one might be: only posting to ‘friends of friends’. Seems safe enough? Well, it is. Until your distant friend becomes friends with your next potential employer. See the problem there?
Thirdly, there’s the whole fact that with a few hundred friends, it’s impractical to go through and designate them all to the groups that they should belong to on a regular basis.
Right, I’m not going to go into any more detail on the whole potential security risk Timeline presents, but Zack Whittaker has a very good article on it. I urge you to read Crepe Season’s post on Facebook security in general as well.
So in conclusion, I’m not going to tell you that you have to quit Facebook and its evils, but I would like if you could think about how much of your life is available for show (even if it’s only your ‘friends’ reading).