I’m guessing most of us joined Facebook to share updates and information with friends and family. Some of us learned to enjoy Facebook groups of people with similar interests. Deleting Facebook would cause us to lose access to things we actually enjoy. So, the answer isn’t to delete Facebook. The answer is to remember why we joined Facebook in the first place and interact with it on our terms.
Very few people joined Facebook to play online games. Very few people joined Facebook to like and/or share content produced by corporate America. Very few people joined Facebook to take personality quizzes. Very few people joined Facebook to have an easy way to sign into other websites.
Telling your friends about the great dinner you had is basically meaningless to Facebook. Sharing a video of your friend’s cat chasing a ribbon is meaningless to Facebook. Copying your sister’s cookie recipe is meaningless to Facebook. Joining a political discussion with people from around the country is meaningless to Facebook.
Liking and/or sharing something promoted by a corporation lets Facebook target ads toward you and create a marketing profile for you. Liking and/or sharing something promoted by a celebrity helps Facebook improve its personality profile of you. Taking quizzes makes it easy for Facebook to learn about your likes and personality. Using Facebook to sign into other sites gives Facebook access to much of the information you share with those sites. Playing games on Facebook lets third-party companies learn much of what you share on Facebook.
Simply put, the problem with Facebook isn’t the reasons why we all joined. The problem with Facebook is that once we joined, many of us allowed Facebook to convince us we needed more from Facebook than we knew we did. If we use Facebook for the purposes we originally joined Facebook for, we can get the benefits of Facebook that most matter to us. Just as important–we can make it much harder for Facebook to gain access to information about us we don’t really want it having and that it has proven it won’t protect.