Thursday, 29 March 2018

Should you delete Facebook?

Social media has become a controversial topic, or at least, more than it was already.

With rumours circulating around the part it played in both the UK's EU referendum and Donald Trump's election campaign, Facebook is no longer seen as just a place to see what old friends are up to. 

Of course, this is something which has spiralled seemingly beyond what we could have imagined. Even Mark Zuckerberg didn't know what the social platform was capable of.

Whilst we all effectively knew that something would happen to data we posted on our timelines, did we really predict the extent to which it would be used when we originally agreed to the terms and conditions? Probably not.

And quite frankly, it's scary. 

After its social network status became well established, Facebook was quick to become a place for individuals and businesses to market their services and products. After all, with x billion users, it's a pretty big marketplace, and one you can hone very specifically. Whilst being able to whittle down users to a high degree is ideal for businesses - the more interested your audience is in the product they're seeing, the lower the cost to convert them - it's also quite worrying.

For example, whilst you might expect to be able to target people who've liked a certain page, you can also, for example, target those with close friends who have a birthday in the next ten days.

Great for gift companies you might think, but also raises the question of just how much the data we share on social media is influencing the decisions we make. It certainly gets you thinking about how much data is stored about you across the web; every click you make, every shopping basket you leave an item in,  these little subtleties have a more significant part to play than you might think. 

To get an insight into all the data stored about you, check out this article.

Ok I'll admit, I thought this was really cool at first - it almost made me feel like a private detective, if a private detective was tasked to track their own movements... However, it quickly got me considering just where this information was going and the possibility of more sinister intentions masked by my desire to happily 'check in' at another' Instagram worthy cafe. 

With awareness around data harvesting and the potential misuse of personal information online, the government have taken steps to investigate and to try and ensure a greater level of transparency for consumers.

What's more, a new regulation will soon come into effect in the UK, as well as across the EU, which is set to bring significant changes for the way our data is processed.

The general data protection regulation - or GDPR - will come into effect on the 25th May and will replace the existing Data Protection Act. Setting out to improve the rights of citizens, it will provide data subjects - you and I - with the right to erasure. This means that for every company that processes your data, you will have the right to have information which personally identifies you removed. Whilst there are some exceptions; for example, some legal companies may need to retain it for a certain period, it ultimately aims to give consumers greater control over the data they share with companies.

Another change which the GDPR is set to introduce relates to consent and the need for businesses to be more explicit when they initially obtain it. 

If you haven't already, you'll probably start to receive emails from companies re-requesting your consent to their weekly email or subscription. Though this is set to mark a significant change for businesses, over time, it's likely that it's effectiveness will deplete - after all, as technology is sure to develop beyond what we could imagine, loopholes are bound to emerge. It'll be interesting to see if the legislation can keep up.

Though it's clearly concerning to think about how our data is used online, it is to an extent, to be expected. Businesses aren't going to let you use their online store, app or social platform without trying to get something in return. Though I know several friends who have distanced themselves from social media following the recent revelations, I probably won't be one of them. Whilst there are clear benefits to taking a break from your phone, I just can't help myself from scrolling. What's more, I have serious fear of missing out - even if it's just what everyone thinks about the Bake off showstopper.

Would you delete Facebook?

photos by the wonderful rwhelanphoto



  1. It has been something on mind since December last year, but I still have not deleted my account. Having said that, I've deleted all my photos on my personal facebook account. Honestly I've outgrown it and still considering closing down my account. So yes, it will be deleted eventually.

  2. I have definitely been considering it...but yup havent taken the plunge. I'm not surprised about the data sharing, it was inevitable. I'd love to distance myself from social media but the reality for most bloggers is that its the centre of everything. Facebook is a dying medium though so perhaps in time I be able to let it go lol - x

    Lavinya Royes - Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

  3. It wouldn't really bother me if I didn't have a Facebook account so maybe I will!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

  4. A very interesting topic to think about. It is a bit scare to think how "sell" we are. If I take a look to a shopping website like Mango, for example, it makes me crazy to see a few days ago that in Facebook or another platforms are commertials about my shopping search. I think it has to be more control.

  5. This is such an important topic to be familiar with and I love your engaging take on it gorgeous Georgia, so informative and helpful (especially for someone like me who is aware something is going down but I'm not too clued up on the details) 🙈

    I really dislike Facebook, I never use my old account anymore but that's because it's just full of people I don't want to be reminded of haha. I started up a new one but I've literally got a few close friends on there and that's it. I think I'll be keeping mine - mainly because it's the main way I keep up with one of my closest friends. If not I'd probably just delete it. Like you I want to keep up with social media. It just plays too much of a part for blogging for me and even though I definitely enjoy taking a much needed break from it from time to time, it's often short lived <3 xxxx

    Sophie | soinspo xo

  6. This is such an interesting post. It's crazy how facebook knows things now! I think maybe one day I probably will delete it but right now I find it a good way to message and keep in touch with people :/ definitely something to think about though

  7. Great post and SO informative!! I was finding it hard to understand the huge blow up recently with FB but have always known they use everyone's details to make money and pass on sensitive information. I actually deleted my Facebook last week as I just couldn't be bothered with it anymore! That most likely sounds bad but I just feel much better without it and stepping back from constant flows of information! I mainly just use it for my blog/website anyway which I use a business page for instead of my personal feed x


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