by Nick Thornton
There’s been more than a few grumblings over the course of the summer as Facebook has switched users over from the old layout to new and “improved” timeline. Don’t get me wrong, I hate change too. I don’t like to have to re-learn Facebook every month as they make some silly change without warning or reason (or often without the correct coding). But here’s my beef with the beefers: who’s forcing you to use Facebook?
I agree that when Facebook sells your information to advertisers, changes your security settings, etc that that oversteps the bounds of what a company should be able to do. Perhaps even legally but hey, who cares about that anymore, right? But the thing is… Facebook switching users over to timeline and the subsequent outrage over it is a bit silly, no? I mean, Facebook is a free service and it certainly isn’t mandatory. As much as I like complaining about things (it increases with age), Mark Zuckerberg owes me nothing. Facebook is his company (well sort of, it did go public…) and if he wants to force us all to use timeline, that’s his decision.
Facebook and social media have enormous potential and certainly grant some freedom of speech to those that may not otherwise have it. But let’s not pretend Facebook is ours. It’s not. It’s a company, not a service, and they can do whatever they like. If you want to opt out of timeline, opt out of Facebook, the free service you voluntarily signed up for.
I’d love to hear your comments. On my timeline.
Nick is a 4th year History major at UBC, as well as the CEO (and sole employee) of Unboring Learning.com, a free online learning site. His 5th grade report card said: "Nick is a conscientious student but distracts his classmates." You can follow him on Twitter: @unboringlearn