Actually it is easy to be smug and liken Facebook to smoking, but there is a deeper reason, and that is privacy. I am a citoyen du monde -- a citizen of the world. I write software for high net worth individuals in Caribbean tax havens. I have written money transfer and micro-payments software for a small developing country. I am currently writing software to fight epidemics in Africa. I have written software for a European Union concern, and I have been requested to do a threat and risk assessment for a UN agency on the African continent.
With the Facebook timeline, geo-location and the selling of data on Facebook, I value my privacy more than knowing that an old high school friend caught a five pound bass yesterday. I don't need a tax agency looking at my Facebook account to try and pinpoint my whereabouts on a specific day. I don't want potential employers to know that I fancy both a single malt scotch and a tropical beer. I don't want to be judged professionally by a vegetarian because I hunt my own fish and lobster on the reef. In short, I want to control my public persona.
LinkedIn is perhaps the most useless social media thing out there. I was an early adopter of LindkedIn, and had a ton of contacts in many countries. I never benefited from being on LinkedIn at all in any way. It was a colossal time waster.
Social media is quite handy for being able to keep track of a large amount of people with minimal effort. However with the ubiquitous selling of data by these social media companies, they are crossing the line in respect to violating my privacy. Using datamining, with the limited amount of data that I put out there, social media can figure out my address, age, buying habits, probable income, and relationship status. No thanks.
What this world needs, is a social media platform that doesn't need to create profits by selling my private information. I wouldn't even mind looking at ads to fund it, however, social media and Facebook is not exactly an ideal platform for selling crap.
If you examine Facebook's reported financials, they make about $4 billion per year or about $4 per user. This is in spite of 33% growth in users. What they don't realize is that if I am stalking my old highschool sweetheart to see if the jock that she married is fat, poor and not interested in her any more, then I really don't want to buy anything but her love (or eventually Viagra when I get to the stage where I need it).
But back to the point -- I missed it for a few days, but now I find that I have a lot more time to devote to actually generating an income, or making entries in my blog. And being a LinkedIn dropout hasn't hurt my income stream at all. Could this be a trend?