Have I mentioned how much I hate Facebook? That was rhetorical. I know I have. But with the limited knowledge that I have about privacy manipulation, every encounter makes me more and more furious and I’m at a peak right now. I’m in a position where, unlike on Instagram where I could just delete my whole personal profile, but continue to manage other ones, I will always need a personal Facebook account to do some of the work that I do. And that makes me extremely uncomfortable.
Over the past several weeks and months, I’ve flip-flopped on my feelings about whether I keep my account or delete it a create a dummy account to use just to access my pages. In the end, I decided on something somewhere in between. It’s complicated and it certainly isn’t the final revision, I’m sure. I’m just hoping that it’ll feel like something I can live with.
The process has brought about many thoughts about how I am controlling my personal information or, in many cases, how I am NOT. I never used to care about that, but something has changed over the last several years and I’m just not comfortable with selling myself and my soul for the use of free apps and services I’ve been brainwashed to believe I need. No, thank you.
One of my greatest inspiration in this department was Manoush Zomordi, who I was introduced to when she was the host of the WNYC podcast, Note to Self. Since then, she’s moved on to a new podcast (which, I’ll be honest, I haven’t listened to YET) but the things she shared on Note to Self have really stuck with me. I think of them often and have changed some habits permanently. (If the Escape from Yahoo! episode doesn’t change your email habits, nothing will (and that’s okay, we all have different privacy sensitivities.))
Through Note to Self and Manoush, I participated in The Privacy Paradox back in early 2017. It was a five day privacy check and education series in the form of daily podcasts on the topic. If I recall correctly, there were also some tasks assigned after each lesson and all of it was pretty eye opening. Given my current state of agitation, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to run through it again.
If you’d like to learn more about it, here’s a link to the introduction of the series and here’s another to the full content. Even if you’re not feeling edgy about privacy concerns in the same way I am, there’s plenty to learn about exactly what’s happening with the personal data that you may not even know you’re putting out there. And there’s even a “privacy personality” quiz to help you get in the mood.