What about the rest of us?

As anyone I’m facebook friends with can clearly see, I am quite private about my personal life. I never post status updates, hardly ever post pictures or links on friend’s walls, and never ever click on the ads within facebook. So what use am I to advertisers and those (like Really Gets Me) who want to use my data to further their own purposes?

I know many people who are on facebook during every waking moment, who are sharing their stories with all who care to see. This is where the gold mine is for big data purposes. Advertisers and companies can learn all about a person and use this information to better target their audience, and facebook users freely and openly post this information. However, there are also tons of people like me, who are a lot more weary of giving out personal information. After I made my boyfriend read the article about the App store gaining access to your contact list as well as mobile pictures (not that he had anything incriminating!), he deleted the facebook app from his phone. I am not quite as extreme as of yet, but this action is not unwarranted. We’ve discussed how people recoil at the permissions that facebook wants us to grant, but when companies like Apple are gaining access to our personal pictures and address book, I see why even those who are ignorant to what these things are really being used for are even a little more than nervous.

There’s clearly a line drawn between those of us who aren’t frequent facebookers and those of us who are. But with these new ideas like the opt-out of advertisements button, how will advertisers and these companies who so desperately want our information continue to get it if we are not sharing it? Obviously if you have a facebook account you must have posted or shared at least a little information, but the creep out factor for some here is so intense that advertisers are getting nothing. So where does that leave the non-frequent facebook users? Because we choose not to share we don’t get the perks of sharing, obviously, but is there an alternative?

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2 Comments on “What about the rest of us?”

  1. jluton says:

    I’ve thought a lot about this too Andrea. I can think of a whole list of people who are my real life friends, but they either don’t exist on Facebook or they exist and don’t participate. Mostly, the list consists of 30-something-year-old guys who just have no interest in being that public with their lives. But I do wonder if they’ll ever come around. What would it take to draw them in? Or is it a losing battle?

  2. williamwickey says:

    I am with you.

    I have never shared a lot on Facebook. Before Timeline, even my friends couldn’t see my pictures. With the new privacy settings, who knows?

    With all our talk about Open Graph, and the way Timeline seems to put an even greater spotlight on your Facebook behavior, I am even more hesitant than usual to post, comment, or authorize an app.

    I was feeling pretty off-the-radar until the other day. After searching on my phone to see if there are any Rosetta Stone apps for android, I’ve been bombarded with Rosetta Stone banner ads on my computer.

    Just nice reminder that Facebook is not the only ones peeking in.


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