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It’s Quit Facebook Day: Don’t You Dare!

by James Ball on May 31, 2010

Happy Quit Facebook Day! Looks like 26650 are committed to quit as of this writing, and 4719 people had something to add in the comments on the site…impressive! I can certainly understand and sympathize with the folks who are so upset as to delete their accounts…I’m just not one of them. I’m glad to see all of the activity and passionate opinions that are being expressed about all of this though. It looks like progress and evolution to me!

Facebook has absolutely done wrong. More of what users considered private information has become available (and is in fact pushed) to the public in recent days than ever before. Facebook’s default privacy settings are to blame, and trying to keep up with these has become all but impossible for an average user. Have you personally investigated this quagmire?

Clicking the chart below will take you to the current interactive chart…it’s worth a look.

I think Facebook is a fascinating platform; I’ve truly enjoyed playing around with it…connecting with old friends, keeping up with kids, enabling my fly-on-the-wall (pardon the pun)complex, and generally its being a great opt-in communication channel for me. From a personal standpoint that’s all it is though.

As a marketer my views are completely different. My original intent for becoming as involved with Facebook as I have was to leverage the platform for marketing purposes. I’m an uber-plugged in marketing type who views things a little differently…please keep that in perspective.

I’m not deleting my account because it’s absolutely too valuable to me to do so. My personal presence is merely a feed from this blog, and I only rarely use it to post a comment or “like” something on someone else’s wall. Even then, my motivation is to support the marketing efforts of a business friend or selfishly promote myself or my interests. My personal account exists so that I can build business accounts. I won’t get into the specific complexities of all that I believe and do, suffice it to say that I’m from the “Life Is Marketing” and “All of Life is Sales” school of thinking.

Feel free to pass judgment on me and make your own choices. Happy Memorial Day, men and women have given their all so that you can have your liberties. But consider this; this social media we all enjoy is all marketing, all of it. You either market or are marketed to…and Facebook is a big chunk of this evolutionary process. If you can accept this as a truth, stick around in it and add your voice when and wherever possible.

Facebook, Twitter, Myspace…you are aware that none of these were built to be marketing channels, right? Being connected, communicating, participation in a community…these noble aims have been effectively met by all of these. It just so happens that these same aims have become the foundation for effective marketing in 2010. Welcome to the world we live in. Opting out seems like a weak choice to me. If you don’t want the world to know something, keep it to yourself. A keyboard attached to the internet is most certainly not a tool that can protect your privacy.

I very much want to hear what all of you have to say about all of this. How have the changes in Facebook’s privacy settings made you feel? Have you changed the way you use the service, or do you intend to? If you are quitting, I’d appreciate hearing your take on this today as well.

Zach June 1, 2010 at 5:12 am

The reasons people are quitting facebook are philanthropic; you stated the benefits of staying. Yes, our facebook accounts are valuable. But for those who believe that a giant company taking advantage of its monopoly on social networking is a bad thing (and therefore, if everyone quit facebook, it would be better for everyone) deleting one's account is a worthy sacrifice.

By your logic, every time someone tells you to donate to charity, you can point out why that's a ridiculous idea. Ultimately, it's a matter of whether the perceived satisfaction you get from contributing to the greater good is enough to outweigh the selfish benefits of refusing to do so.

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