Should Homeschoolers Delete Facebook? (READ THIS BEFORE YOU DO)

Should Homeschoolers Delete Facebook? (READ THIS BEFORE YOU DO)

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In case you’ve been living under the homeschooling rock and haven’t heard, there’s a huge movement to delete Facebook.

(And, yes, there’s even a hashtag: #deletefacebook.)

Why the #DeleteFacebook Movement?

Here’s a little background, which MarketWatch.com summarizes so nicely:

The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that it’s investigating Facebook’s privacy practices amid revelations that campaign strategy firm Cambridge Analytica used 50 million Facebook users’ personal data without their permission.

The scandal prompted a #deleteFacebook campaign, with users publicly vowing to quit the world’s largest social network.

Cambridge Analytica is a company who created a quiz application used on Facebook.



Like most quiz apps you use on Facebook (or any other social media site), by using them you allow access to some of your personal information.

(Sidebar: You know those seemingly innocent and fun quizzes you answer on any social media platform or website? Yeah, you’re often allowing those apps to have access to some of your personal data. It’s not just a Facebook thing.)

Cambridge Analytica used people’s personal information in unauthorized ways.

Here’s the problem with #deleteFacebook . . .

I’ll admit, as someone who worked in the healthcare field for about 20 years, I am watching this #deleteFacebook movement with an equal amount of interest and confusion.

Data mining (keeping a database of information) started way, way, WAY before Facebook or any other online method was used.

And, most people know that information is being collected on us from a variety of sources.

This isn’t just a Facebook issue, it’s a data collection issue.


BE SURE TO ALSO READ : HOW ONLINE GAMES AND DIGITAL BADGES ARE GROOMING HOMESCHOOLERS


Back in the day, I compiled healthcare and patient data to be reviewed for research.

You know all those forms that you sign at the hospital or doctor’s office?

Buried in that language somewhere is their ability to use your medical information for certain things, under certain conditions.

So, frankly, I wasn’t surprised to learn that our data was mined and used in ways that we were unaware. Data mining and use (and misuse) of our personal information has been going on long before Facebook.

TheWindowsClub.com talks about data brokers, which are companies that collect our information:

. . . Their job is to collect all kinds of information that includes your name, address, place of work, hobbies, interests, family, and things that you do online.

You will be surprised to know that much of this data collection trade has existed for decades.



Today, what has changed is the volume and nature of the data being extracted from the Internet.

First, it was just the PCs and Laptops, now handheld devices like smartphones have become the target of all data broker companies.

If you're going to delete Facebook, you also need to . . .

So, here are some things to consider:

If you’re going to delete Facebook because of data collection, you also need to . . .

• Stop using Google.

Here are just a few of the things that Google keeps on you:

“Your name, email address, telephone number, credit card information, your usage pattern, your communication with other websites using AdWords and other Google technologies, your device information, search queries, and more, is collected by Google to know more about you. Google through Chrome also stores information in your browser via local browser storage to know your preferences.”

In a recent series of tweets, one tech guy lays out how services like Google and Facebook use your data.

And, it’s not just Google.

All search engines are mining some kind of data on you.

• Delete all your social media accounts.

Did you know that Instagram is part of Facebook?

So, if you’re thinking that you’ll just stop using Facebook and Bam! you’ve showed them, think again.

Also, the same for YouTube, which is part of Google.

All social media accounts collect information on you.

So, how far are you willing to go?

Just deleting Facebook won’t protect you online.

• Get rid of your mobile phone.

Your mobile phone can track where you are and when you’re there.

(Have you ever watched those crime shows? They always find the people by tracking their cell signal pinging towers.)

Also, all those apps (like social media and maps and shopping) are collecting data from your phone, too.



• Ditch Alexa.

Hey, you know those smart speakers you put in your home that listen to everything you’re saying?

Yep.

Also, get rid of those.

(You don’t really think those speakers are just listening to your requests and then not keeping that data for something, do you?)

• Reconsider going to the doctor or using a bank.

And, while we’re at it, you may want to look at how your doctor and bank are using your data and with whom they are sharing it.

There are “loop holes” that allow both of these industries (and many more) to share your information legally at varying times and situations.

Again, from TheWindowsClub.com:

“Much of our sensitive financial information is shared with banks we transact. When using their banking services, we are bound to share information that includes,

Social Security number
Account Balances and Transaction History
Credit History and Investment Experience
Home and office address
Information related to job, email, phone number, and more

Although Banks are required to comply with the Consumer Privacy Policy, which necessitates them to inform users about data collection and use and allow those users to opt-out of some, there are loop-holes to bypass the process.”

Should Homeschoolers Delete Facebook? (READ THIS BEFORE YOU DO)

Why You Shouldn’t Delete Facebook

So, should you keep or delete Facebook?

Don’t delete Facebook because everyone is telling you that’s what you should do.

(Don’t ever do anything for this reason, by the way).

And, don’t delete Facebook because the latest celeb has jumped on the bandwagon and is tweeting #DeleteFacebook.

Or, certainly don’t delete Facebook because some other (competing, btw) tech company is telling you to delete Facebook.

And–this is the biggest one for many homeschooling parents–don’t delete Facebook if you use it as your lifeline to other homeschooling parents.

I’ll admit it, one of the biggest ways I use Facebook is to connect with other homeschooling parents.

And, many days, these fellow homeschooling parents save my sanity. They pick me up when I’ve fallen down. These parents make me laugh. They give me curriculum recommendations and help me understand how to be a better homeschooling parent.

And, homeschooling can often be isolating (for the parents, not the kids).

We are so busy interacting with our kids, and planning, and scheduling, and running that our social relationships often fall by the wayside.

So, if you use Facebook as your main connection to other homeschooling families, then don’t delete Facebook . . . especially in you live in an area where there is no physical homeschooling community.

Why You Should Delete Facebook

If you’re starting to feel that your happiness or mental health is tied to reactions and information from Facebook, then it may be time to delete it.

Also, if you are spending more time on Facebook instead of making genuine connections with your kids, family, and friends (and it’s interfering with your homeschool day), then delete it.

Harvard Business Review reported:

Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen time, lead to internet addiction, and erode self-esteem through unfavorable social comparison. 

Yikes.

And, if you really think that Facebook is using your personal information in unclear ways (and that other social networks aren’t doing it in the same way), then delete it.

What happens when you delete Facebook?

If you’re going to delete Facebook, you should know the following (from Facebook):

• You can’t regain access once it’s deleted.

• We delay deletion a few days after it’s requested. A deletion request is cancelled if you log back into your Facebook account during this time.

• It may take up to 90 days to delete data stored in backup systems. Your information isn’t accessible on Facebook during this time.

• Some information, such as messaging history, isn’t stored in your account. This means friends may still have access to messages you sent after your account has been deleted.

• Copies of some material (example: log records) may remain in our database but are disassociated from personal identifiers.

Is There Anything You Can Do To Protect Your Digital Self?

First, be aware that it’s not just a “Facebook thing.”

Blaming one company is a narrow understanding of what’s going on.

It’s not just Facebook gathering data or allowing apps to collect data on you. This is a common practice online.





Next, be very careful about what you access or opt into online.

For example, if you take a fun quiz, what data are you allowing that company to access from your profile?

So, pay attention!

Lastly, try to make yourself as secure as possible on every app or connection.

Mashable posted detailed directions on how to check (and change) your settings on some of the most popular social media sites.

So, check them out and then make the necessary adjustments.

Bottom Line: If you’re online or connected in any way, data collection is happening.

Anytime data collection is happening, there’s potential for someone to misuse that data.

And, it’s not just Facebook.

 

Are you deleting your Facebook account? Why or why not?


CHECK OUT THESE BOOKS ON HOW SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTS OUR KIDS, FAMILY, AND LIFE

Connected (AFFILIATE) Plugged In (Affecting Youth) (AFFILIATE) The Happiness Effect: How Social Media Is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost (AFFILIATE)
The Shallows : What the Internet is Doing To Our Brains (AFFILIATE) Growing Up Social (AFFILIATE) Parents Handbook to Talking With Your Teens About Social Media (AFFILIATE)

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