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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
December 22, 2018
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Delete Your Account

delete FB

It only took one Facebook privacy scandal -- Cambridge Analytica's use of Facebook data to create psychographic profiles of voters all over the country -- for me to consider deleting my account altogether (okay, that was definitely not the first one). And I followed a guide like this one, written by Brian Chen for the New York Times in light of more recent scandals like Facebook's overly permissive data sharing with fellow tech giants. I tell the story of how I came closest to being Facebook-free on this week's show, where I explain that it wasn't quite as simple as following the steps and moving on with my life.

Why? Well, Facebook is a tech company, tech is easy to move on from. I change email programs once a week. But the "social" part? The part where I've lived in this online space for more than a decade? That takes some unpacking to disentangle from, to preserve what's worth preserving and delete the rest. Chen calls that "assessing what you'll lose," I call it mourning.

And the "network" part? Even trickier. Once you quit Facebook, how many event invites will you miss? How many photos of new babies will you never see? How many friends will you lose touch with? For better or worse, Facebook and social media like it have become part of our online lives together. So ejecting it altogether means we need to convince everyone we know to quit as well.

Or maybe we just acknowledge that social media is good, but could be better. How? We ask that of many guests in this week's show. But it's an open question. What would social media that works for all of us look like? What should we be demanding as members of "the world's largest nation-state"?

--Mark

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