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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Facebook: A Like/Hate Relationship

Am I the only one who feels like they've digressed back to elementary or junior high school when using Facebook? Why does hitting the 'Like' button feel like a silly way to communicate approval or interest in something? Why does the number of 'Friends' seem like a tally in a juvenile competition? Why does the brevity of comments seem superficial and banal? Why indeed should I add 'Friends' who I not only do not know personally, but cannot even pronounce their names sometimes? And why in the world would I want to post my personal history, along with information about family members, etc. on this most un-private of websites?

I only joined Facebook to try to re-connect with old friends and clients with whom I'd lost contact. But I find that perhaps it is not worth opening myself up to forms of scrutiny that I may not even know about. I'm sure the CIA and FBI thank Mark Zuckerberg, or whomever really created Facebook, since it helps them connect the dots better than many other forms of intelligence.

To those who say "Why would anyone want to bother with me and my information?", I feel compelled to remind them that police states collect this kind of information on anyone and everyone; it is then available to be used when necessary. You may never see it coming.

The recent purchase of the blog site Tumblr by Yahoo for over $1 Billion sends the point home that data-mining is big business. Tumblr acquired a loyal following by not having advertising. So why would Yahoo pay so much for a site that has little if any income? Information acquisition, or data-mining, is the reason. Plus, Yahoo will probably monetize it in the future. Truthdig has a good piece on this:/ http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_is_tumblr_worth_11_billion_to_yahoo_you_20130521/.

We should all think twice before posting personal information online. There is NO privacy, contrary to what a site may say. How many of us read all the fine print anyway, before clicking "I accept"? We are being followed and our viewing and buying patterns are documented and sold and used by entities without our knowledge. Facebook just enables Big Brother as we enable Facebook. Time to rethink this monster.

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