After months of complaining to anyone who would listen and frustrations that took up way too much of my time I decided that the first big thing I would take care of in 2018 was to close my Facebook account. There really are far too many negatives to list, even in a blog that only I read, but here are the biggies.
SECURITY. If there is a problem with security there is no good reason to keep the program. I first recognized that I had a security problem a few months ago when I received an email from one of my “friends.” Since this arrived at my “private” account, an email that has not been listed on Facebook for more than a year, and that it was in fact an email and not a PM on Facebook itself was the first clue that something was very wrong. The second fact, that this person had not updated her/his Facebook page/timeline/whatever in more than four years was the second clue. I removed the “friend” and a few months later received another email, again on my private email.
I have updated all my security settings, privacy settings, you name it, time after time after time. And yet, somehow, the information I had on the account years ago is accessible to whomever or whatever was attempting to infect my computer, access my accounts, steal info. Pick one, they are all bad.
Have you ever tried to contact Facebook? Right. No way in hell. The so called “help” sections are outdated, incomplete and often inaccessible. Trying to find current suggestions on message boards is more of a waste of time than trying to figure out why the program keeps changing my settings.
PRIVACY. I had very few “friends” and let’s be real here, the people on your Facebook page are often not people you actually know. I made sure I did know everyone, and thus I was able to control some of the content I received. I repeatedly had my settings to “friends only” on several of the privacy settings and I repeatedly received posts from people I did not know, did not want to know.
THINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE ETC. Right. Of all the suggestions of pages I might be interested in at least 50% were of no interest to me at all. The BOTS on Facebook seem to be set to give suggestions from friends pages, or friends of friends pages, rather than using the information from my own “likes” and browsing. And that brings up the many friends of friends.
OBSCENE and DISTURBING content. In short, if you have a friend or that friend has friends who frequent obscene pages, or pages that have disgusting graphics, disgusting views, are prejudiced or bigoted, you get these “suggested pages” popping up in your news feed. It took a while for me to plow through the few friends I had to determine just where these were coming from and then advise said “friend” that some of her/his “friends” were disgusting and that I had to remove them unless they controlled the content they were receiving.
The real problem with this is of course the number of people one allows on one’s page. Cause if a friend has 500 contacts you have 500 potential persons who have access to your Facebook page, and the privacy and security setting do not work. Try it this way, with simple numbers. If I have 100 friends and they have 100 friends and they have 100 friends how many people can see your page? Right.
PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW. Just like the content, the suggestions were totally not based on anyone I might know or want to know. Just because one of the friends of friends has relatives in another country does not mean I know them. I do not want to know every single person in the region where I live. The worst problem, suggestions that are not in English. Really bad programming here.
Finally, after setting and resetting and other issues, I had to look at why I had this frustrating program in the first place. I don’t post every little thing I do, eat, feel, want, fear, pick a topic. I don’t tell people I know and trust every little thing I do. But then, my generation is not addicted to looking at a smart phone every waking moment of the day. I had Facebook to share photos and other things with real friends, not the seemingly endless names and faces of people I will never know.
So, it is gone. It took me a week to totally remove all the content. I removed timeline postings and photos and the next day some of them were back. I restricted everything, defriended all the contacts and still received what should have been restricted content. In short, you can remove it, you can close the account, but anything you have ever posted or had posted on your account is out there in internet land and you can never really remove it.