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Goodbye Facebook

This has been a long time coming, but I think it's time to drop the ball. I'm done with Facebook for a number of reasons, some of which are outlined here. The biggest reason, however, is how dangerously scary Facebook is treating your privacy.

Over and over and over again, there have been major concerns with changes that Facebook has made towards handling your privacy. New changes are always implemented, and they always seem to be compromising your privacy, one way or another. I find it interesting that the Google Mail team implements Buzz, and adds friends to your list to follow based on who you mailed the most, and a lawsuit ensues, but Facebook sells your contact information to advertisers, and no one blinks an eye.

However, the biggest news to hit the Internet is Goldman Sachs' interest in investing in Facebook, and getting options into the company for top investors, despite Facebook being a privately held company. In fact, Goldman Sachs has a $1.5 billion USD interest in Facebook. What could be so valuable to Goldman Sachs, that they're willing to front ONE POINT FIVE BILLION? I can tell you this much- it's not FarmVille. Yes, you guessed right. They want to be the top bidder to your private data. If you think that's not the truth, you're fooling yourself.

To me, things are about to get very, very scary with the Internet giant (as if they haven't been already), and I'm tired of putting up with it (I'll now wait for the onslaught of persecution from a number of friends, as well as the "told you so"). Of course, I've heard the rebuttal, and I'm a firm believer of it, that if you don't want your private data compromised, then don't post it to begin with. Wise words. However, if you don't put your private data on Facebook, including photos of yourself or family, then tell me again what the point of the site is. Last I checked, it was to get in contact, and remain in contact, with close and distant family, friends, relatives, associates, etc. You want to remain in contact, so you give them your private information, such as your email, phone number, address, etc. to make this possible. You share bits and pieces of your life with them, including photos, videos and messages. If you don't provide that data to your contacts, then what's the point? Getting new cows for virtual ranch?

Aside from the massive security concerns with privacy, Facebook has become rather lame to me. To be frankly honest, I'm just not that interested in your kids fundraiser, your new photo business that you setup and want me to "like", how I should ignore common sense and just "follow the prophet", your political stances, etc. I've been in far too many religious, political and philosophical debates on Facebook, and where did they get us? I get bombarded with game requests all the freaking time, and clearing them out is like cleaning spam out of your email inbox. Of all the old friends that I've gotten in touch with on the site, what has happened over the years? Nothing. So, what was the point?

I know that 600 million users feel differently than I do, and that's fine. However, I'm quite confident that my life can move forward just fine without Facebook. In fact, I've been cutting my life out of it bit-by-bit. First, I unsubscribed from the RSS feeds that fed my Google Reader about your links, your status updates, etc. Then, a bit later, I deleted everything off my wall, and set my account settings such that if you came to my profile, all you saw was my contact information. Then, I signed out of Facebook Chat with my XMPP client. And you know what? No one has noticed. No one is noticing that I'm not active on Facebook. No one is noticing that I'm not online to chat. Everyone is too busy shouting themselves, that they haven't even noticed I've slipped out behind the back door, and have been enjoying a quiet walk in the brisk night air.

So, why announce it? Why not just quietly delete the account, and move on? Because I want everyone else to think about it themselves. Are you really that interested in what everyone else is saying, or are you just using the social site as a gaming platform? Why are you on the site again? I don't care if you don't delete your account like I am doing, but if you end up asking yourself these questions, and honestly evaluate why you're using the site, then my purpose of writing this post has been accomplished.

I don't know exactly when I'll end the account, but it will be soon. Lastly, here's some words of thought for you. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I think this picture speaks volumes.

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