Author Topic: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?  (Read 506 times)

Offline clamoure

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Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« on: April 18, 2017, 03:15:45 PM »
Hello All,

I'm a long time fan and supporter of TSP, but this is my first time posting.

I’m turning to TSP Forum Community for your opinions on this question: 

Should I join Facebook?

It’s a question I’ve struggled with for a long time.  FB is a treasure trove of information about survival, prepping, and other topics of interest.  It’s a great way to keep up with all those people you may not talk to on a regular basis, and it is an opportunity to share those parts of your life that you want others to see.  So, with all the goodness of an online tool like FB, why am I hesitant to join?  Privacy.  I am concerned about my interests, security, location, and in general, the monetization of my information.  Would I be giving all that information away just to gather some information or connect with friends and family.  Who would track me and what would they do with that information.  I don't think I'm going all "tinfoil hat" here, from what I can discern, FB gobbles up a lot of private information and shares that info with whomever they decide. 

So, I turn to you now for your opinion.  Have I unknowingly already given all of that information away?  Are my interests and political persuasion already being “tracked” now and I just don’t know it? And if so, how big of a threat is this monetization of my information.  Or, your opinion, do the good aspects of FB outweigh the bad.  I know that FB has some ways to make your account more secure and limit what information is tracked, but should I really trust them do do what they say they will?

I don’t want to be another sheep in a herd of billons who have joined FB without considering the ramifications, and have successfully resisted thus far.  But my natural curiosity and my desire to have another tool in my toolbox is making me reconsider my position of non participation.

I trust the Survival Podcast Community to give me their unvarnished opinion, advise and counsel that will help me decide whether I join or continue to resist.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Clamoure

Offline LVWood

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 03:40:56 PM »
I find little to no value in Facebook.
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Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 03:48:12 PM »
You have a digital footprint, period. There's no way to escape that in this day and age unless you forgo credit cards, bank accounts, home-ownership, forums like this one, etc.
Facebook does take it to another level, in a way, but it's not all that different than this, or any, forum. You may trust Jack, or the forum admins, but the fact is that the hosting provider which supplies this server has access to all data flowing through it. As does their network provider, and likely the NSA/FBI/Whatever. So you're already sharing your info, ideas, and identifying bits with the world. Heck, if there's a bug in the code that runs this forum, all of our info could be stolen for whatever purpose the perp desired.

Regarding Facebook, Yes, they build a profile on you, as does any website where you have a login (and many that don't). Facebook is more detailed and market-y than most, but they don't go selling their data. It's their competitive advantage. They give others a platform to reach you. There's a big difference.

So, if you think a FB account would be valuable, sign up. Set your privacy controls up the way you want, fill out as much or as little profile information as you choose, and join the modern age. You'll probably be very glad you did. I especially like the new classifieds features and local groups features. Really makes it more useful since I moved to a new area.
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Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 07:20:41 PM »
The thing with Facebook is that you can be wise or an idiot with how you use it.  You can follow people and companies that give out lots of important information, or you can friend every request where the profile pic is a hottie in a bikini (hint: it's not really her).

I see friends of mine that have more than 500 friends, and I don't get that.  It's not rude to be selective in who you friend.  Make sure it's someone you would feel comfortable giving your real name.

Also, lock everything down so that people can only see your posts and information if you approve their friend request.

If you do those things, then Facebook can actually be a valuable tool.  And honestly, your information is out there the minute you use the internet anyway.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 09:53:05 PM »
Howdy and welcome, clamoure.

I think it's possible to use Facebook fairly safely, but it's designed to draw you in and make you share more info than you really meant to share.  I'm not a huge fan, but I have a few friends who won't stay in touch any other way.

One thing I do that (I think) might cut down on the tracking a bit: Use one browser for Facebook ONLY, and another browser for everything else.  I avoid clicking links in Facebook (except for links to other stuff on Facebook); instead, I copy/paste the link into my other browser.

I'm not sure about Facebook being "a treasure trove of information".  Opinions and memes and oversimplifications are the big things on Facebook, and it's really inconvenient to locate anything that was posted more than a day or two ago.  It's pretty good for immediate communication, though.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 08:47:49 AM »
One thing I do that (I think) might cut down on the tracking a bit: Use one browser for Facebook ONLY, and another browser for everything else.  I avoid clicking links in Facebook (except for links to other stuff on Facebook); instead, I copy/paste the link into my other browser.
Unless you're editing the link to remove facebook URL shorteners or remove tracking bits in the URL, this won't do any good. You'll just tag your other browser as being you.
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Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 10:03:19 AM »
I find little to no value in Facebook.
Yep just say no to facespace.
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Offline clamoure

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 08:08:57 AM »
Thanks to all of you who replied with your opinions!  Greatly appreciated.

For the immediate future, I have decided not to join FB.

However, my research, as I attempt to lessen the warrant-less intrusiveness of FB, and quite frankly other online social media resources (Federal Government, Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, your ISP, web browser, etc), has turned up various ways to disarm their snooping  and cataloging my digital life.

I have concluded that it is impossible to stop the myriad ways that digital businesses have to track your online activities.  However if I can't stop their immoral "Peeping Tom" antics then at least I can make it so that they don't associate my online activity with a specific person, me.

There are ways to stay anonymous online, but it requires some work, a new online identity, and the discipline to use the anonymous system for those sites you don't want to be tracked on.

Bottom line.  While I can't stop their tracking activities, I can surf in a way that they cannot correlate my surfing activities to my real identity.  More work, bit I retain some element of privacy.  And that's the goal.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Should I Join Facebook? What's your opinion?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2017, 02:33:16 AM »
I think that is smart to NOT join FB if you value privacy.  It is designed to trick you into interactions you would not normally do: "friending" acquaintance of a friend of a brother, for instance. Or responding to outrageous comments someone makes perhaps intended only for close friends but broadcast to hundreds, or posted on a bad day, or they are jerks you would not normally associate with but they are the cousin of a friend's friend. Plus, the whole concept of FB "friends" causes its own drama if you do not accept someone as a friend ("What, you hate me now!?").  My daughters started off following lots of friends and accepting friends only to get enmeshed in many controversies and drams they would normally never even hear of let alone be "friends" with.  They cut their list of friends way down which caused some family hard feelings, but they limit their postings to just those they are friends with in the real world.  Another etiquette tip is to not slam someone's post on their own FB page as a comment.  Let everyone have their say on their own page.  If you vehemently disagree then post your opinion on your own page but don't attack others on their page.  Likewise, don't allow attacks on your posts.

FB also changes its privacy policy and linking algorithms without notice or obscure notice, so you should regularly verify your settings are what you explicitly want and have not been changed on you.  All of social media is designed to entice you to post, post, post and click, click, click for ad traffic volume.  And controversy and upset people ramp up the volume most quickly. So, guess what social media sites purposely design their sites to do? Lure you into the inevitable rants and offensive posts.  Plenty of people post on FB and Twitter things they would NEVER say in person.  And when I have asked why they posted such a thing, they reply either "That was what I was thinking at the time," or, "So-and-so said something so stupid I just HAD to post my thoughts to set them straight!"

Personally, I am very happy without it.  My wife and daughters use it to share quilting projects and kid/grandkid photos.  But even as tightly controlled as they have it they still see a few outrageous political/religious rants that makes them boil.  I can do without the drama and get plenty of value from other web resources (moderated blogs, web sites, search, etc), real paper-based BOOKS, and even LIVE people!  YouTube has tons of instructional videos of varying quality, too.
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