I know some really smart people who intentionally avoid Facebook because of privacy concerns. That’s fine. It’s a personal decision. But I think it's a mistake. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook myself. At times, it truly exemplifies the magic of Web 2.0. It lets me keep in touch with friends and family that I would have completely lost track of in any other time in human history.
At other times, it’s a big dislike. Seems like every time Facebook overhauls its privacy settings, I have to re-decide which subset of the connected world gets to see my photos, whether or not I'm "interested in men or women," and of course all the digital fingerprints left by my “likes” and applications.
But after looking at it from every angle, I’ve decided that it’s better to be on Facebook than not.
This is life now
Even if you don’t have a Facebook account yet, your information has already beaten you there.
Your friends are on Facebook. Your family is on Facebook. And that annoying prick at the bar last night that kept taking photos with his Windows Phone 7? You know: the one who probably took your picture accidentally on a night when you told your girlfriend you were somewhere else? That bastard's on Facebook, too.
You are on Facebook whether you think you “do” Facebook or not. And the architects of the social graph don't really care if you're sitting at the table when they pencil in your profile.
It sucks; it’s great; it’s just life now. It’s the 21st century. Sulk or deal. I choose to deal, and I choose an active role in the writing and editing of my online life story.
So if you're hiding from Facebook, just ponder this: In, say, ten or twenty years, will you be happy with what your ghostwriters had to say about you?