Darren Straight's Blog

ICT Enthusiast and photographer.

By - Darren Straight

Will you be Quitting Facebook Today?

According to QuitFacebookDay.com, a website set up by Matthew Milan and Joseph Dee, today is the big day that you should commit to quiting Facebook due to it’s data privacy concerns.

However currently only 26080 people are committed Facebook quitters of the over 400 million plus users of Facebook, that’s only around 0.00652% of facebook users! WOW not a lot – but I guess everything has to start somewhere.

But the question today is – Will you be Quitting Facebook Today?

Why are we quitting?
For us it comes down to two things: fair choices and best intentions. In our view, Facebook doesn’t do a good job in either department. Facebook gives you choices about how to manage your data, but they aren’t fair choices, and while the onus is on the individual to manage these choices, Facebook makes it damn difficult for the average user to understand or manage this. We also don’t think Facebook has much respect for you or your data, especially in the context of the future.

For a lot of people, quitting Facebook revolves around privacy. This is a legitimate concern, but we also think the privacy issue is just the symptom of a larger set of issues. The cumulative effects of what Facebook does now will not play out well in the future, and we care deeply about the future of the web as an open, safe and human place. We just can’t see Facebook’s current direction being aligned with any positive future for the web, so we’re leaving.

What should I know?
Quitting Facebookisn’t easy. Facebook is engaging, enjoyable and quite frankly, addictive. Quitting something like Facebook is like quitting smoking. It’s hard to stay on the wagon long enough to actually change your habits. Having peer support helps, but the way to quit Facebook is not to start a group on Facebook about leaving Facebook.

Part of quitting is understanding the nature of the problem, and there have been a number of recent articles and posts that do a much better job than us at articulating what’s wrongwith Facebook. We encourage you to read them and form your own opinions. Moving on will be easier to do when you have made a clear and conscious choiceabout why you’d prefer your online life to be Facebook-free.

What are my options?
There are alternatives to Facebook. Understanding what is best for you will depend a lot on what you need out of your social graph on a daily basis. For some, a combination of services like email, Twitter and Flickr might work. For others, a Ning group or a specialized social site like Akohamight be an option. If the entire population of Brazil can use Orkut, we think that there’s hope for you to find a new home on the web. Wired, ReadWriteWeb and others have recently called for an open alternative to Facebook, and we’re personally excited about the potential of the Diaspora project. At the moment, there aren’t a lot of great options for direct replacement, but know that you’re not alone. When there’s a market need, it’s not long before better options appear. In our minds, the best thing to do is to contribute to that need – and that’s what Quit Facebook Day is about.

Who set this up?
@mmilan and @josephdee. Putting that for disclosure, but we want the focus on the real issue: Should you leave Facebook

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