September 19, 2012

Goodbye Facebook


Imagine my surprise when I logged into Facebook recently and saw a notification that I had 13 new "Friends".  I hadn't sent any friend requests to anyone, and hadn't approved any friend requests.  So how could I have 13 new "Friends"?

These friend requests were somehow generated by Facebook.  Some were to people who actually were friends, but others were to people I didn't even know.    Some where people who weren't friends, but associated with companies for whom I work on my day job.  And the friend requests were approved.  Pretty creepy.
 
I simply can't tolerate Facebook sending friend requests from me to whomever it thinks should be my friend.  Call me nit-picky, but that seems like a serious security violation.

I filed a bug report with Facebook.  You'd think this would go to the top of the bug list, and evoke serious concern in Facebook management and software developers.  Obviously not.  I never heard from them.  And a couple weeks later it happened again. 

So I deactivated my account.

Around this time I heard stories of prosecutors using Facebook posts as evidence in court of your location at a certain date and time.  A musician friend told me of police showing up at their gig and arresting one of the band members for outstanding traffic tickets, based on his publicizing the gig on Facebook.

People enable GPS and Facebook on their "smart" phones, and their location is posted in Facebook as "checking in".  I find this very creepy.

As a songwriter, singer and musician, I naturally want to promote my music.  Facebook can be one of many tools for doing that.  But is it worth the price you pay?

I've decided it's not.

2 comments:

Brian said...

Hey Rob,

You might consider making a Facebook fan page. There's no personal information there, just a convenient place for people to check out news that you want to release.

Rob Roper said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Brian. In order to have a Facebook fan page, you have to have a personal account. At least that was true in the past.

I had a fan page when I had my account. About 80 people became "fans". I thought, great! A bunch of new fans! But here's the weird thing about Facebook. A handful were already fans. The rest of them-- none of them ever bought a CD, downloaded a song, came to a show, or even signed up for my email list. None ever made a comment on Facebook. I doubt they even listened to one of my songs on the Facebook page. Weird. If you are a "fan", don't you want to listen to that band or person's music?

As a result of that, I came to the conclusion that Facebook is not a useful tool for promoting music. In fact, it seems to be an obstacle to music. It seems most people who are addicted to Facebook sit home and read their "friends" posts ("Just washed the dishes. Gonna go pee now") that go out and listen to music, or even listen to music at home.

Sitting home by yourself, never going out to hear music, never talking to people in person or on the phone, posting mundane facts about your life, reading your "friends" mundane posts about their lives-- is this what the human race has come to? Is this being "social"? I call Facebook the "anti-social network".

Maybe I'm being too extreme. I guess some people on Facebook do get out of the house sometimes. Maybe there is some promotional value in having a Facebook fan page. I suppose I could open another FB account under a pseudonym and put no info there, and not publicize it, just so I can have a fan page. I'm just not sure it's worth the trouble. I think my time could better be served by practicing.

I didn't intend to write such a long reply! Thanks for your comment, and for prompting me to write more about the Facebook phenomenon. I'd be interested in hearing what others think-- especially those on Facebook who do listen to music on Facebook fan sites, and do go to shows as a result of Facebook postings, and do buy downloads or CD's as a result of Facebook posting. Are there such people?