Why I’m quitting Facebook

I left Facebook a long time ago, before many of the current realities of that ecosystem. Rushkoff didn’t leave for the same reasons I did (which stemmed from philosophical conceptions of temporality, time, and privacy) but his reasons echo those I keep hearing from undergrads. It isn’t just that Facebook isn’t ‘cool’; they’re spending less time on the site because the company is increasingly seen as manipulative, secretive, and portrays users in ways antithetical to how the users perceive themselves.

What is perhaps most concerning is what will happen to all the data the company has amassed if/when it implodes like MySpace did. What if, in five or seven years, Facebook effectively closes shop: who will get the mass of data that the company has collected, and how will they subsequently disseminate or manipulate it? It’s this broader concern about long-term use of incredibly intimate data that leaves me most leery of corporate-hosted social media platforms, and it’s an issue that I really don’t think people appreciate. But, then, I guess not a lot of people really remember the dot com crash…