A linux laptop running wireshark to illustrate cyber defence in action (photo credit: James Kemp)

If you are reading this on Facebook, my apologies. I’ve not logged in since November 2017 and I’ve recently deleted the app from my phone. I’d like to keep in touch with people, but Facebook doesn’t make that easy any more.  Given the recent news about their changes I guess it isn’t just me.

Facebook’s problem

If you still have a Facebook account that you actively use then I’m sure you’ll know this. Step back for a moment and scroll through the top dozen or so items. Don’t engage with them, just take a long hard look. Count how many are original posts from close friends or family, people you actually know and enjoy spending time with. Not shares, comments or adverts. It’s a small number, probably only one or two out of the dozen. There might not be any.

When you’ve done that, look at the content. How many are good news or happy stories? Pictures of someone’s dinner don’t count, unless they bought it for you to eat too.

So I’ve got out of the habit of looking at Facebook. It isn’t showing me what I want to see, and I’ve got other things to do with my time. I’m sorry if you’ve been trying to contact me through Facebook messenger. I’m not using it and there’s no way to leave a convenient message saying so.

My blog is still linked to Facebook, and it ought to automatically share posts. You might still see these from time to time. Don’t be fooled into thinking that I’m active on Facebook.

Facebook manipulation

The other sinister side to Facebook is how easy it is to manipulate people. I’ve always known that were the product, following the old adage. If you aren’t paying, then you’re the product, not the customer. I’ve also blogged about filter bubbles, and their effects on our perceptions.

It’s not just Facebook to blame though, although they have a large chunk of the market share. It’s apparent on other social media, especially Twitter. I’m still using Twitter though as I’ve found it easier to manage viewpoints and to create multiple accounts. That said I’m not on twitter anywhere near as much as I have been in the past.

Get in touch

If you do need to contact me then if you know me well enough you’ll have an email address and a mobile phone number. If you don’t have those then my wife is on Facebook and you could possibly message her. Failing that there are comment forms in the blog, or you could make an educated guess at my personal or work emails.

I appreciate it that I might not have made that too easy, but like everyone else my email inbox is also overloaded with commercial email. Posting it on here only makes that easier for the spammers.