Facebook has not been totally sincere with us. This was a shocker for me as much as it will be for many.
Most of the users including me uncannily signed up on the platform without prior knowledge of what we were getting themselves into.
I actually discovered late and I’m certainly making amends duly.
I used to be one of the greatest lover of the social media platform, until some other users took over my position.
I joined Facebook in 2010 and tailored my friend list to about 4,800. I wanted a little tolerance should in case I met new friends.
It has always been fun for me until I recently discovered that the following have been stolen from us by the social media giant.
Facebook and the entire social media has made us lose the importance of privacy. These days it’s very easy to track someone down.
Months ago, Facebook introduced a featured called “Friends Nearby”. A user need to turn on the phone’s GPS for it to work. It means that whenever you enter a locality, ALL your friends who has that feature turned on will know you’re there.
This is the height is self orchestrated privacy invasion. Data about your frequently visited locations can always be accessed by Facebook when needed. Your favourite restaurants, hotels, gyms and the likes are no longer secrets.
A lot of users especially the females, post all their day to day activities on their timelines. You can actually know when a user bought her first car, when her cat died, when the fiancée proposed, when they broke up, what led to the break up, when she was arrested for drunk driving and all sorts of personal details.
350 million photos are uploaded on Facebook daily. Those pictures are the records of our private lives with family and loved ones.
Facebook has been designed to be very interactive and addictive. On regular basis, new features are introduced to ensure that users get glued on the screen each time they opened the website or mobile app.
An average user spends 75 minutes on Facebook daily. But some people are quite above average.
Such people literally leave their Facebook and Messenger app running all day. They end up spending as much as 2 – 4 hours on Facebook daily.
The addiction is more among users between the ages of 18 and 24. 50% of them go to Facebook immediately they wake up. It is now a part and parcel of their lives.
Employers and Employees can’t stay a day without visiting Facebook. While I was interning at an ICT consultancy, I caused a uproar in an organization when I mistakenly blacklisted Facebook on their network.
Even the most serious employees were on my neck as though I committed a very serious crime. It shows how rooted they are in Facebook in spite of their busy schedules.
A lot of users are currently suffering from the “Social Media Addiction Syndrome”. If you can stay one week without using and social media site or app, then you’re safe.
Facebook users are gradually losing touch of family intimacy. The social media is a responsive virtual community. It has its own intelligence which positions the right stuff to each user. The idea is to keep every user engrossed.
A great percentage of users have reduced the time they spend communicating with their immediate family.
This time has been diverted towards sharing, viewing, liking & commenting on posts. Others are always very thrilled when they chat with new friends on the platform. The ladies love it when they get pinged by random guys.
These days, parents rush bedtime stories with their kids so as to go back to their exciting chats. Youths can miss the holiday camp with family and won’t bother because they’ve got some virtual friends who will always keep them company.
A guy once told me how hurt he was when he tried speaking with his friend via a phone call to no avail. The girl rejected his calls thrice. When she called back, she told him she was streaming a hour live video on Facebook and didn’t want the call to interrupt the video. He felt unloved and saw her attitude as a misplacement of priority.
A whole lot of people can relate to that incident. Women write more about emotions and relationship with the hope of getting emotional comments from the opposite sex. It’s all a diversion game. Diversion of our attention from real family and friends to a virtual community.
Facebook seeks to bring the world closer. It seeks to connect us with the “wider” world, but in reality, it’s actually disconnecting us from our “immediate” communities.
There are several fakes that parades themselves online. It is a hub for fake living. If you take out time to scrutinize the profiles of your friends, you may laugh out your heart in disgust.
People tell all sorts of lies just to appear popular and relevant. Someone who hasn’t gone beyond shores of Nigeria will change his current city to Chicago, as though that’s one of the 36 states of the country.
There is a level of distrust on the platform due to gross insincerity. The absence of sincerity has increased the crime rate in our world.
Nigeria was thrown agog in 2012 when a girl was lured to her death through Facebook. 2017 alone has been greeted with a number of sexual assaults in the western world that were streamed in real time via the Facebook Live feature.
Facebook has so much blinded the eyes of its users with its addictive features that they’ve failed to see and maximize the resources it provides.
Time spent on Facebook chatting and viewing photos could have been channeled to more productive stuff. Better still, users could have enriched themselves with the tons of the opportunities it provides.
It leverages on the addiction of users to provide one of the best advertising platforms on the internet. Facebooks makes millions every second you spend online while you end up paying internet bills.
75% of brands use their paid Ads services and 50 million businesses trust them for marketing. But this figure is just 0.025% of the 2.01 billion Facebook users.
The remaining 99.975% of its users have sacrificed their resourcefulness and creativity at the altar of petty chit chats. I’m not being too harsh. I’m still a dedicated user of the platform and Zuckerberg is my tech role model.
But it hurts me to know that over a billion of its users are still unaware of what they lose daily when their usage of the platform is not properly tailored.
7. Behavioral Data
One of the greatest things that we’ve lost to Facebook is our data. Google redirected me to a PHP framework site some time ago. I spent a chunk of time on the site in a bid to familiarise myself with their value proposition for aspiring developers.
I checked back on Facebook hours later, and I was surprise to see a sponsored ad from the company on my timeline. I couldn’t understand how it happened, but the simplest explanation is that social media giants like Facebook and Google are constantly mining the data of her users.
This means that Facebook users are now laboratory mice. They are experimented on, and the resultant data are used for their golden ads marketing. Every page, photo or post you like on Facebook is used to define your behavioral habit.
This also means that they buys and sells information about your day to day activities. They use this data for advertising, but can also be very detrimental to users when used wrongly.
In 2013, Edward Snowden, an Ex-CIA systems analyst leaked some classified documents that shows that the US and British Government were constantly spying on the entire world, through various media like phone records which they got from our telecom companies.
The leaks also showed that they were getting people’s information from internet firms like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and our beloved Facebook. The internet world is not really safe. We entrusted our lives to social media by signing up for platforms whose privacy policies are too long for us to read.
By so doing, we’ve given them the legal rights to take so many precious things from our lives.
We need to be careful about how we use the internet. Nothing shared ever gets deleted. It’s somewhere and can always be used against you when it matters the most.