I’ve been away from blogging, but decided recently that it was high time to pick it up again. Partly because I want to have a place that isn’t Facebook or Google+ to share my photos, and partly because I like to have a place to rant when I come across things that get on my nerves. That said, here’s one of those very things: according to an article on Forbes, “People Without Facebook Accounts are ‘Suspicious’”.
It’s not just love seekers who worry about what the lack of a Facebook account means. Anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?
The idea that a Facebook resister is a potential mass murderer, flaky employee, and/or person who struggles with fidelity is obviously flawed. There are people who choose not to be Facebookers for myriad non-psychopathic reasons: because they find it too addictive, or because they hold their privacy dear, or because they don’t actually want to know what their old high school buddies are up to. My own boyfriend isn’t on Facebook and I don’t hold it against him (too much).
But it does seem that increasingly, it’s expected that everyone is on Facebook in some capacity, and that a negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license.
Now, before I begin my rant, let me preface this by saying that I do have a Facebook account. No, I’m not sharing the link. For me, Facebook is a necessary evil. I use it primarily to moderate the Facebook page of the company I work at. It can be useful in other ways, such as the fact that some companies insist on you liking them to be entered into a contest, or to get a coupon of some sort. (I sound so old, but I like saving money, OK?) I will admit that I do sometimes enjoy seeing what other people are up to, but most of the time that consists of Instagrammed photos of what they’re having for lunch. (I will never understand that.) The family vacations, random road trips, and cool photos from festivals and the like are what I enjoy seeing.
The flipside to this is that I also hate Facebook for all the same reasons. Their privacy controls are terrible, and I find myself never knowing if my content is going to be seen by a close circle of friends or by everyone and their dog. (This is made worse by the fact that previous articles I’ve read have detailed how the privacy controls have been known to revert at times when they make a change to the system.) I hate seeing nonsense posts from people, and despise most things posted via Instagram. And why should I have to like Nabisco (or whoever) just to get a coupon for a box of crackers? All of this is why I prefer Google+, partly because of the more intuitive privacy settings, but mostly because the annoying people don’t use it. Yet.
The bottom line is that while I use Facebook, I don’t use it like everyone else. My privacy settings have been set to pretty high levels. I don’t post much personally, but prefer to interact by commenting on other posts. If you annoy me by posting nonsense, I will either hide your posts from my stream or remove you as a friend. And no, I’m never going to make my profile completely public. If you want to learn about me, sit me down for an interview, or invite me out for a cup of coffee. It’s not “suspicious”. It’s common sense, mixed with a preference for one-on-one human interaction. Nobody should have a problem with that.