As of now, I’ve kicked Facebook to the curb. I am no longer a Facebook friend. I’ve decided that it is not worth my time, and is actively hindering my ability to manage my life.
I do not expect you to follow my lead on this, although I’d encourage you to think about how Facebook treats you, your data, and your expectations. To date I think the answer is, “Not well.”
What finally nudged me over the edge is the fact that Facebook is inherently “pull” technology1. What that means is (say) you’re being invited to multiple events in the Holiday Season, however these invites have taken place over Facebook events. If you don’t happen to have email notifications turned on, or if you don’t log into your Facebook account, you’ll never know about the events2. Contrast this with “push” technology such as email or Evite or paper invitations. These go from the initiator to you, so you don’t have to actively do something beyond check your mail to receive notice.
Before any of my friends get all up in arms that I’m being passive aggressive about this, let me state that I’m not trying to say things like, “You’re a terrible person” or “You suck at organization.” Rather, Facebook has trained millions of people that this is the way it is done, and an effective way, but it only works if everyone has bought into it, and is willing to put up with Facebook’s way of changing things underneath you. I no longer am, and I think as time goes on, other people won’t be, also.
Another point is that Facebook will fade or die, inevitably, like all other internet companies. It may not be gone entirely, but then MySpace is still around, too. It’s better in my opinion to base personal transactions on technologies or processes that you control3 rather than platforms that are not only not in your control but actively trying to sell your information to make a profit. That platform does not have your best interests in mind.
I will be doing my best to convince my network of acquaintances that Facebook isn’t a good way to invite people.