Will You Be Deleting Your Facebook Profile?

Survey: A majority of people wouldn't have trouble signing off of social media.

Posted Apr 13, 2018

Pexels
Source: Pexels

Facebook is the most popular social platform. However the recent Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, many are considering deleting their accounts.

In a recent Economist/YouGov poll, more than half of Facebook users say they have thought about removing their Facebook profiles. This was especially true for the younger adults under 30 years-old. 

A PEW Research survey in March of 2018 concurred that over half (59 percent) of people would not find it difficult to give up a social media platform. The young people again, aged 25-29 were in the lead (60 percent) who said it wouldn't be hard to give up their digital space.

Personal information

No one is disputing that social media is a way to connect with each other and offers many valuable educational tools, but studies have shown that people are anxious about all the personal information that is being collected and the security of their data.

In a 2014 PEW Research survey, some 80 percent of social media users said they were concerned about advertisers and businesses accessing the data they share on social media platforms, and 64 percent said the government should do more to regulate advertisers.

Privacy

Facebook is claiming that by providing their advertisers with information about their users (what they consider general information) everyone will have a better experience. For example, the ski marketers will be able to find people that are interested in winter sports while the pet lovers are clicking on keeping their animals healthy.  Many Americans, however, feel quite differently about their privacy  and who is controlling it and how secure it is - according to a 2015 PEW Research survey:

  • 93 percent of adults say that being in control of who can get information about them is important.
  • 90 percent say that controlling what information is collected about them is important.
  • 76 percent of adults say they are “not too confident” or “not at all confident” that records of their activity maintained by the online advertisers who place ads on the websites they visit will remain private and secure.
  • 69 percent of adults say they are not confident that records of their activity maintained by the social media sites they use will remain private and secure.

Sharenting: Kids for privacy

The Child Rescue Coalition shares that 90 percent of children have a social media presence of some kind by the time they are 2 years old, and a 2015 poll by TIME and SurveyMonkey of more than 2,000 parents in the United States found that millennials were far more likely to share photos of their kids online compared to previous generations (only 19 percent of millennials said they'd never done it, compared to 30 percent of Gen X parents).

Facebook offers a feature which allows their users to creates lists. If you are a person that has an  urge to digitally document your child's life, be a responsible parent by limiting your viewership. Keep in mind -- you're child doesn't have an opt-out link, you are literally building their first digital foot-steps. 

One teen girl from Austria actually sued her own parents for all those embarrassing childhood photographs they posted on Facebook, from shots of her getting her diaper changed to potty training. “They knew no shame and no limit,” the girl lamented. If you really wish to share such private moments, consider cherishing them only among loved ones who you are confident have your best interests at heart.

Create a family and close friend list for your personal pictures and comments. Remember, like with the recent data leak on Facebook (as with the Sony email hacking and Ashley Madison breach), treat what goes online as if it would someday be global.  

7 Ways to rethink your sharing online

  1. Sharing too much:  Is it necessary? Oversharing is what will get most people in trouble. Never give out your personal information (social security number, address, etc). Think twice about about your pet names - do you ever use them for your passwords?
  2. Emotional sharing: The Internet is unforgiving. Face-to-face time or even talking to a friend is still a way to connect with those that care about you and won't linger online forever. 
  3. Content you share: 15 minutes of humor is not worth a lifetime of humiliation. Will your post embarrass you or someone else? Never rely on privacy settings, as mentioned above, the unexpected can happen. This is your digital landscape.
  4. Conduct: Never put a temporary emotion on the permanent Internet. Anger is fleeting, online is forever. Your social media behavior is a reflection of your offline character.
  5. Know your audience: Take time to de-clutter your friends and contacts lists on your social platforms (including your cell phone). Sharing with the wrong people has consequences. 
  6. What celebrity do you look like? Do you engage in the pop-quizzes that have you click on links and share information? From what state are you likely from or who your best friend should be and more, isn't it time to bypass these info-traps?
  7. Be social-smart. Do you really need to know what celebrity you look like?

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