Why I deleted my Facebook account (and tightened my privacy)

“Are you on Facebook?”, the first thing I hear every time I meet someone for the first time. If not the first thing, they will surely ask this sometime or the other. “Do I need a Facebook account? Is that compulsory?”

That’s my reply. In today’s world, almost everyone has a Facebook account. Out of the 7 billion people that live on planet Earth, 1.3 billion people are on Facebook (I don’t know about other planets. Maybe they use FB too!).

I deleted my FB account on July 3 and decided never to come back.

I admit that it is a great site. Well designed and ideal for social networking and communications. But wait, there is one thing that most people didn’t use to consider but now do, and that is privacy.

Privacy is one’s right and it needn’t be asked for.

Today’s generation needs privacy. You would not like being tracked each time you visit any website. That’s exactly what Facebook does. Every time you anything on Facebook (or on the internet), Facebook is there knowing where you are.

You would have visited many other websites that provide a Facebook like or share button on their websites for you to like them or follow them. If you are logged in to Facebook, it will track the websites you visit and learn more and more about your interests and likings. I think it already has ALL the personal data of all its users.

And I don’t like being tracked.

“So, do I care?”, you ask. You probably don’t bother about any ads that are shown on Facebook when you log in (or you do? Who knows?). Those ads are personalized according to the data they have collected about you so that they can attract your attention. I have heard that the same thing is done by Google.

Meeting your friends in person is more satisfying than meeting them virtually.

Facebook is a communication network and it should be a communication network, not a network of trackers or stalkers. Hackers know that people post most of their personal information on Facebook and hacking their account is the best way to obtain their information. Stolen personal information could be used for illegal purposes.

By now you all would have read the Facebook Experiment “Emotional Contagion” in the news. It was all about manipulating the users’ emotions by altering what posts are shown on your news feed. The experiment altered the news feed of millions of users without notice. Their emotions were being played with. Showing positive posts generated positive responses from the user over time whereas showing negative posts impacted the users’ in the negative direction i.e. more negative thoughts or statuses. Due to the experiment many users have left Facebook (including me). This experiment was so horrendous that I would suggest you to leave Facebook and avoid yourself to be used like lab rats in its further experiments.

Even search engines track you and give you personalized results. So I even changed my default search engine. Now I use DuckDuckGo – a search engine that doesn’t track you. It is quite good and is gaining ground in the search engine wars.

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