Why Wired’s UK editor shuns Facebook

Photo by The Independent

Yesterday, I discussed why being Luddite might not be such a bad thing for some successful late-career professionals. Today, this story about Wired UK editor David Rowan’s aversion to Facebook grabbed my attention. While it would be hard to position Rowan as a Luddite– given where he works–he admits his choice puts him at risk of being considered “uncool.” What’s his reasoning, then?

“[W]hat’s increasingly bothering me,” he explains, “is the wider social and political cost of our ever-greater enmeshment in these proprietary networks.”

Rowan’s piece goes well beyond typical social networking privacy concerns to more complex issues. One example: Rowan says many Facebook users reveal personal information without “genuinely giv[ing Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg their informed consent.”

“I’ll bet that most of the people whose intimate details you’ll get to read,” Rowan continues, “are unaware that their updates are being shared quite so openly.”

And “old dudes” like himself aren’t the only ones with such concerns, as Rowan notes, citing statistics from a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

“[Y]oung internet users,” he says, “…are increasingly wary of the social networks’ use of their private data.”

What has your experience been? Do you find yourself growing more–or less–wary of what you share on social networks? Have you ever been tempted to leave Facebook due to privacy concerns? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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One Response to Why Wired’s UK editor shuns Facebook

  1. Robyn Sekula says:

    I am very careful about what I share online, particularly on Facebook. I have many clients who are friends on FB. I treat e-mail the same way, though. If I have something critical of someone else that needs to be said, I’ve taken to calling the person I need to talk to rather than sharing it in an e-mail as e-mails are way too easily forwarded. I think our generation needs to also consider e-mail more public than it does.

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