Years of social media use have acclimatized us to sharing all aspects of our personal lives with complete strangers. We share pictures of holidays and some of our most intimate moments with others whilst making our political standing as clear as day on the internet.
Unfortunately, the innocent days (if they ever really were) of social media are long gone.
Information security and data privacy have now become more than just passing concerns for most of us. We are living in a time where corporations actively collect and trade in the data that we willingly provide.
From browser history to buying habits and even political preferences, all of our information is being collected, processed and analyzed, and used against us.
The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal proved that the social media giant Facebook was harvesting consumer data for their own nefarious purposes.
More recently, Whatsapp courted controversy when the popular messaging app apparently forced users to share their personal data with Facebook in order to continue making use of its services.
The policy reads “By tapping Agree, you accept the new terms, which take effect on February 8, 2021. After this date, you’ll need to accept the new terms to continue using WhatsApp. You can also visit the Help Center if you would prefer to delete your account.”
While Whatsapp claims that this was done in line to facilitate better integration with Instagram and Facebook messengers, users have been infuriated by the new service terms outlined. Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook – the world’s largest social media company, appears to be holding users hostage to their service.
Given that Facebook is the most-used social media platform in the world, this should come as no surprise. With the way our data is managed by social media companies there are plenty of reasons why we need to give up on social media.
In this article, we take a look at why you should seriously consider terminating your social media accounts this 2021.
1. You stop becoming a source of data
The reality of today is that nearly every single aspect of our lives can be easily monitored thanks to social media. The pictures we share, the articles that we like and comment on, and the people we associate with.
All of this information is gathered and processed by data miners to develop a profile that is then used to manipulate you. Whether it’s the news that you want to read or advertisements that entice you to buy more, cutting off all contact with social media makes it that much more difficult to keep track of you and take advantage of your data.
In fact, studies have proven that social media information can be a literal goldmine of data for researchers looking to build a more accurate picture of you.
2. Social media can damage your reputation
We share plenty of things on social media and more often than not, we end up sharing much more than we originally intended to. Besides Facebook, the things that you share or comment on can lead to some severe complications down the line.
It could be an ill-thought out post or maybe even a racy picture, but the fact of the matter is you never know who’s watching you.
Staying on social media means being on your guard when posting pictures or comments on especially sensitive topics. Even with strictly controlled privacy settings, Facebook has a long and document history of having rather questionable privacy policies.
3. Leaving social media makes you happier
While the age of social media has allowed us to connect with one another unlike never before, it has also left many more feeling alienated and frustrated.
We curate the best moments of our lives and showcase them on social media as a means of achieving validation. While this makes us sound like a tech-hating luddite, the fact of the matter is that the constant comparisons we make with others is making our lives miserable.
As humans, it’s a fact of life that we constantly look at how others are doing and compare their achievements with ours.
Throw in the fact that the divisive nature of today’s world means that the comments section of any post is likely to be inundated by toxic, hateful comments, and trolls and it’s no wonder why people nowadays are more unhappy than ever.
Despite all of this, social media does have its fair share of benefits. However, the constant invasion of privacy and toxicity far outweigh the pros of having a social media account.
If you do choose to stay on, do so at your own risk. You can also opt for some new encrypted message apps that allow you to stay in touch with your friends, without risking your freedom.