Smartphones act as an appendage; by extension, social media is an integral part of daily life. Want to learn what’s going on in the world—check Twitter. Want to be in on the joke—TikTok. Looking to chat with a friend? You have your pick—FaceTime, WhatsApp, and so on.
But where does Facebook land? While it was once the platform with the most active daily users, it’s no longer so. Many prefer other social media to get their online fix. But does the platform deserve its seeming fall from grace?
Yes, and here are some reasons you shouldn’t use Facebook anymore.
1. Facebook Tracks You Around the Web
Yes, there are lots of problems with Facebook’s usability; we’ll come to them shortly. However, perhaps the most worrisome of all issues is the way Facebook tracks you around the web.
Let’s try and be fair for a moment. Facebook provides its services for free, and in return, we accept we’re handing over data to one of the largest advertising firms in the world.
But Facebook also tracks you when you’re not using the site. Worse still, you don’t even need a Facebook account—the company will still track you. And it has been behind more than one data leak with severe consequences.
It’s more than likely that there isn’t a single person who hasn’t heard of the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal that occurred in 2018 and led to an utter privacy mess. But sadly, that’s not the only data leak scandal. Several have followed that one, along with many investigations and fines, yet it doesn’t appear that Facebook’s users can feel safe.
2. Human Experimentation
Cast your mind back to 2012. You may recall that Facebook conducted an experiment on 689,000 of its unwitting users.
Over a period of several months, half of the “participants” were subjected to consistently positive content. The other half were shown negative content.
It was negligent in the extreme. Aside from the ethical issues, one can only speculate about the negative effect the move could have had on users suffering from emotional issues.
And that’s not the only time Facebook has pulled this trick. There are at least seven other high-profile examples since the turn of the decade.
Bottom line: Facebook sees you as a lab rat.
3. Fake News
The catchphrase ‘‘fake news’’ may have only cemented itself as part of the daily vocabulary fairly recently, but the concept of deliberately feeding people misinformation is as old as human civilization itself.
We’re not here to discuss the philosophical standpoints around fake news. You can decide where you stand in the freedom-of-speech debate.
However, one thing is clear: over the years, Facebook has increasingly tried to position itself as a news portal. In doing so, it has an obligation to deliver on basic principles like trustworthiness and reliability.
But the company has failed. Yes, Facebook may be trying to tackle misinformation, but nonetheless fake news has prospered. Is Facebook doing enough? Not likely, given that Facebook has also been accused deliberately influencing elections. It’s a troublesome situation.
If Facebook is your primary source of news, it’s time to move on. You should look elsewhere for trustworthy news delivery.
4. Questionable Privacy Practices
Facebook has obfuscated and complicated its privacy settings for as long as anyone can remember.
Here’s a Zuckerberg quote from The Guardian in 2010:
“Simply put, many of you thought our [privacy] controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark.”
Can you honestly say the situation is any better today, twelve years later? Yes, Facebook does offer a privacy setting for almost everything—but you need an entire manual to find every hidden option. It’s almost as though it’s deliberately not user-friendly.
Facebook wants you to overlook settings, so it can use your data. If you want a deeper understanding of Facebook’s privacy violations, there are tools that can help.
5. Facebook Has Forgotten Its Roots
When Facebook first burst onto the scene, it was revolutionary. Sure, sites like MySpace had enjoyed some previous success, but Facebook was the first network that was truly fit for widespread use.
And we loved it. Our newsfeeds were full of photos and updates from close friends.
But as time has passed, the newsfeed became more and more diluted. Excessively large friend networks and a deluge of posts from advertisers, pages you Liked years ago, and “news” organizations meant the network lost its original charm.
6. What Even Is Facebook Anymore?
It’s almost a given that social media platforms nowadays copy each other’s features, so it’s pretty much expected to see some overlap. But each still managed to have one thing it’s known for above all others. So, for Instagram, it’s image uploads, Twitter is a status-sharing platform, TikTok is for video uploads, and so on. But what about Facebook?
Compared to all the other social media spaces, Facebook seems like the biggest mess. It allows you to go live, share videos, pictures, and statuses—all things you can do on other platforms and, dare we say, better. So what’s the point of Facebook?
Facebook has gained somewhat of a notoriety for being the place where people go to share their opinions, brandishing a seemingly unshakable stance. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find people loudly exclaiming that something recognized globally as truth isn’t that according to them. And they want you to know it.
It’s also a place to overshare personal news. Sometimes they’re nice ones like engagements and weddings, but other times they’re related to drama that should have been handled face to face. So why spend time on a platform that’s a ticking time bomb bound to result in a facepalm?
It’s Time to Stop Using Facebook
What Facebook once was is no more. It may have started as a social media platform pioneer, leading at the front, but it now seems to lag behind. Worse yet, the problem isn’t only that it’s become a less enjoyable version of itself for users.
Facebook actively threatens your data. There have been so many data leaks and privacy breaches over the years—would you even find it surprising if another one follows? That shouldn’t be the case. Spare yourself the headaches of holding onto Facebook, and move on.
Social Media,Facebook,Social Media Tips,Online Privacy