No Facebook page means you’re a psychopath

Do you do Facebook?Oh, joy. According to Forbes I’m a suspicious character because I’m not on Facebook. What happened to the idea that I’m not on Facebook because it’s the suspicious entity? I’m not the bad actor; Facebook is.

Or so I’ve always contended. But an article in Forbes suggests that individuals who aren’t on Facebook should arouse your suspicions; obviously they aren’t there because they have something to hide. Slashdot is quoted as saying “not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer” — based on the fact that two mass murderers, Anders Breivik and James Holmes, did not have accounts.

Thinking of going out with that hot new guy or gal? Better check their Facebook page. If they don’t have one, they may not be telling you the truth about who they are. They may be cheating on a spouse. Or their account might have been suspended for any one of a number of reasons, none of them reflecting well on their character.

Then there’s the employer/employee thing. These days potential employers want to see your Facebook page and may be wary if you don’t have one. (Frankly, I don’t think it’s any of their business.) Which means you have to worry about what that employer and others will think of you if you don’t have a page. Life sure has gotten complicated in this electronic age.

Fortunately the author concedes

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.

Gee, thanks. While I doubt I’d find FB addictive (drugs are addictive), I do indeed hold my privacy dear and I’m decades past caring about what my old high school buddies, those few I ever cared about and who might or might not still be alive, are up to. As for keeping up with family, there are telephones, email, snail mail, and instant messaging. I get along just fine, thank you very much.

Okay, okay, I’ll admit I’ve started toying with the idea of getting a smartphone (hold the snarky comments, please) — but not for phone calls, mind you. For email, games, GPS, camera, texting, and the myriad other things they do. I’ve reached the point where the idea of being caught waiting somewhere, trying to pass the time without Internet access, makes me … anxious. Now that’s addiction.



Categories: Facebook, Media, privacy, Society

34 replies

  1. I’m with you, PT. Out of a feeling I might be missing something I created a FB page for me a year or two ago but since that time I have used it hardly at all, the single exception being communicating with our oldest son and his family on the East coast. We’ve been friended by a few past acquaintances and some of Mollie’s distant cousins, and hence get reminders of new postings from time to time, but it’s 98% insubstantial comments and pictures from people we’ve never actually met. If it weren’t for our son, I’d cancel the thing.

    • I went so far as to set up a Pied Type page, and set up a fake name account to do that. All it does is show PT posts generated automatically. I check it occasionally only to see if it’s still working properly.

      • People keep trying to talk me into setting one up…long distance communication/pictures with family might be worth it occasionally like Jim says – but it just seems like one more thing to monitor.
        But when my basic phone died and I got this smart phone – now that’s a wonderful device!

        • I log in occasionally under my fake name if I get word of some family member having posted something worthwhile (and the minute I log off, I delete all the FB cookies). But like you, I don’t want something else to monitor. Email alone is a big enough job.

          A smartphone looks to me more like a pocket-sized computer than a phone. Even my son says the trend is toward texting, not phone calls, because it’s less intrusive. And I’m all for less intrusive.

  2. OK. I am on Facebook but am hardly addicted. In fact, my primary current use is to shamelessly promote my blog! Anyway, there is a reason I stopped subscribing to Forbes years ago…

  3. I refuse to give in to the corporate giant this company has become. The sheep dumping their data into that collective pile of crap are feeding a monster. One of these days, they’ll connect AI to it, and everyone on FB will be assimilated into a single entity. With all that data, this construct will quickly take control, manipulating its members into drones that will go forth and conquer. By controlling their opinions, it will shift politics, electing its own people, then reshaping laws. Businesses that do not follow its strict guidelines will quickly find themselves out of business for lack of customers. All other websites will be consumed, connected, or eliminated. Vast amounts of capital will be shifted. Then it will get bored and come to understand the necessity of cleaning up, so it will start a war and arrange for all the nuclear missiles to launch. Thousands of years later, some aliens will find Earth and recreate society based on FB data. Then, only those who put enough information into FB will be realistically cloned. I won’t even exist.

    Then again, maybe people will just stop using it like they did with MySpace. You know how it is. Trends come and go. Then they come and go again. Then they stop. Then they start again.

  4. Oh, puh-leeeeese. This world is so hung up on its own reflection it doesn’t know which is real, itself or its mirror image. God help us all. I’ve had enough: I’m moving to a remote Scottish island and farming sheep. Totally.

    • My dad got to Scotland once to play a round of golf at St. Andrews. He was smitten with the beauty of the country. Let me know which island when you move; maybe I’ll buy a little place down the road.

  5. Not having a Facebook is the first sign that you have a life and are sane.

  6. Their lack of concern for privacy is appalling.

    …I’m assuming all of you people so concerned with online privacy also do not have an email address(es), would never use Google, or have an Internet connection, have never registered your software online, don’t use credit cards, would never use a debit card, don’t have a drivers licence, have never registered at a gym or a library, would never consider signing up for a smart-phone package, would never use their smart phone to send texts, or email, or upload photographs, have never bought anything online, have never searched for anything online… or travelled, or paid for gas with a credit card…

    Facebook is actually pretty open about what it collects — people just get shocked when they find out because no one ever told them before that it’s actually very common. Your phone records, home ownership records, shopping records and everything else are collected by firms you’ve never heard of… and of course, government agencies you may have heard of.

    You really, really should read this:

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/39861/20100730/companies-gathering-your-information-often-invisible.htm

    • I’m well aware of all the data collecting done by the entities you mention. But Facebook’s history of both collection and distribution/sharing of data has been particularly bad and is now subject to third-party auditing: https://piedtype.com/2011/11/29/ftc-slaps-facebook/

      I don’t need or want to have anything to do with Facebook. As with any company whose tactics I don’t like, I’ll take my business elsewhere.

    • I think it’s not so much the lack of privacy by FB as it is the intentional lack of privacy contributed by so many users of this utility. Many people seem to think of FB as their personal dumping ground for content about their own lives that shouldn’t be visible anywhere.

      I don’t use FB, but I’ve seen plenty of clips taken – screenshots shared by other FB users of idiotic posts made by people who seem to be completely unaware that they’re showing this crap in a place that others can see. Sure, maybe some of them know and exhibitionists by nature, but others seem horrified once they realize their relationship ranting has been observed by people outside their intended audience. As I understand it, FB has tried to make some of their security settings that control those who can view your pages more understandable. But it is in their interest to make you visible and to network you. It’s a social networking site. If you didn’t want to network with other people, then why use it? And there are a lot of other ways to meet people.

      Years ago, I signed up under an alias to experiment with plugins. I was immediately inundated with friend requests from people I didn’t know, and mailed crap from a variety of sources I couldn’t identify. When I was done, I terminated the account and never went back. But then I’m an introvert. And now, apparently, a psychopath!

  7. No FB page => mass murderer? Ummm, no. Those are not cause and effect relationships. For those people who put their whole life out their on the internet on FB or any other social site…. hey, you asked for it. Sure, I use FB a LOT… but I am very limited on the info I give, and I only publish to friends. NO one can see me or my wall unless they’re a friend. I love using my Motley News FB page as that’s a way I can share with the internet world, but not give up who I am. I have an abusive ex-husband who I haven’t seen for a decade – and I want to keep it that way. Which is why I have always been careful of what I say. Although, any decent hacker can go into just about anyone’s site, FB wall, Google+, blog, whatever, and dig until they have the info they need. Someone sent me this article. Check it out. Pretty good…. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/all/

    Diaspora is a social site used more by geeks and developers who don’t like the bullshit on FB. I don’t have an account there, but I have some programmer friends that do. I’m okay with FB – I use it more for source material for blogging than I do anything else. I rarely post about me, and never tell people where I’m at, and most definitely NEVER take a photo of my dinner and post it. Aaarrgghhh… I have unfriended people that do that continually. I DON’T CARE about where you are, what you’re eating, and what it looks like!

    • You’re smart enough to know how to set your privacy settings to keep your information private and to be very careful about what you post and don’t post. Why people would even consider putting up names, addresses, family photos, etc., for the world to see is just beyond me. And Facebook “Friends”? Seriously? I loved what Aaron Sorkin said a few years ago: “Socializing on the Internet is to socializing what reality tv is to reality.”

      (Realize, of course, that my comments are coming from the world’s most introverted introvert.)

  8. I closed my FB page–too much sharing going on there–more info than I need, I’ll tell ya. Don’t have a smartphone either. The problem with texting instead of calling? People are constantly looking at their phones for messages. Trapped like a rat! I’m getting along fine without either one. 🙂

    • I just don’t understand the Facebook attraction. Even as a teenager, I didn’t want to share that much and was content with maybe four or five good friends. And I don’t view my new smartphone as a phone; I never call anybody. I view it as a purse-sized computer.

      • They (smartphones) even talk to you now I understand! Or is that something else? LOL

        I have a few good friends too and that’s it. I’m not looking to expand my horizons as FB would have us believe is necessary. 🙂

        • Yes, if you want, they talk to you and you can talk to them. I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable talking out loud to an inanimate object (especially if other people are around); I’ve always thought people, especially seniors, who talk aloud to invisible friends have some serious problems!

  9. Facebook Shmacebook. The author forgets to mention the little part of the TOS that I don’t agree with (on top of everything else they already do): if you upload photos, FB considers them their photos. Not yours. My stuff is mine and you can’t parade around with it.

    Anyway, nice blog! I’m yet another person who found you from the Freshly Pressed.
    Hi!

Trackbacks

  1. Beware, Tech Abandoners. People Without Facebook Accounts Are ‘Suspicious.’ – Forbes « Ye Olde Soapbox
  2. Facebook Can Tell You If A Person Is Worth Hiring – Forbes « Ye Olde Soapbox

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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