I do very little on Facebook these days except to have my blog entries, my Foursquare check-ins, Map My Walk metrics, Goodread books and GetGlue movies or TV shows automatically post on my wall. I comment on family and friends’ posts and occasionally share some of those posts, but it’s been quite a while since I actively posted anything directly on Facebook because I don’t really care to be on it any more than necessary.
And yes, I’m well aware that because Facebook gives its venue away for free to users that we and our personal information are the real product there.
Our personal information is a commodity and even if we lock it down as tight as we can, Facebook makes unannounced changes to privacy settings that opens our information up without our even being aware of it. That, along with their assertion that these changes are for our benefit, have become tiresome.
Then we have the ads. Our eyes are what advertisers pay Facebook for, whether those eyes are willing or not. If you attempt to use third-party software to block the multitude of ads, Facebook will do its best to neutralize that effort. OK, fair enough. I’ve practically trained my eyes to ignore ads on my wall, as I do with ads on websites I visit.
But now Facebook is upping the ante again. Beginning this Thursday, it’s video ads that play automatically on your wall. I was already surprised earlier this week when some of my friends’ posted videos that weren’t ads began playing automatically. This isn’t a “feature” to me, but rather an “intrusion” into my online experience. I liken it to the old days when ignorant web designers had music automatically play when you landed on their website. If I want to watch a video, I’ll click “play” when I want to see it, not when Facebook decides I should have it play.
So I’m sure I’ll be spending even less time than I already do on Facebook itself, and instead will continue employing proxy services for the bulk of my interaction. If it weren’t for the fact that so many of my family, friends and co-workers use Facebook, making it a sort of “one-stop-shop” for staying in touch, I’d be out of there altogether.