I know I’ve been Facebook stalked before; potential employers, family friends, my ex-boyfriend’s crazy new girlfriend; they’re all looking to collect the bits of information about me that they want, but it is almost a betrayal of trust to find out that even Facebook is collecting and saving this data of mine. As I researched the compilation of my life that I have composed since September 21, 2008 at 9:59 (location and heartrate at the time TBD), like many of my colleagues I have been transported down memory lane remembering my high school sweetheart, Brad, and hating my eighth-grade self for liking all five hundred pages that I thought were funny or related to, but what is the purpose of keeping all of this data around? I looked at the different tabs from my downloaded information and saw one labeled “Ads,” and instantly knew why.
Going through the “Ads” tab, there were hundreds of hashtags that were composed of different interests I had had some time in my life such as #CampJulietteLow, a camp I attended as a young girl, #TheGreenMile, a movie I was constantly watched my sophomore year of high school, and even a hashtag of my hometown, which I’m unsure if I even put that information on the internet. I thought about how the information I liked affected what I see as advertisements on my home page, so after looking at this data I immediately went there, and lo and behold, and ad for Jimmy Johns, a sandwich shop I frequent at is waiting for me on the right side of my screen, as I scroll down I notice between irrelevant statuses there are more advertisements for concerts in nearby areas and how I can save on tickets. As excited as I am that I am alerted about these, realizing that it is just facebook subjecting me to these in order to gain profit is almost like finding out a boyfriend cheated on you. Facebook was something you confided in when you had something to share with everyone, and it turned around and sold the knowledge it gained and used it for corporate revenue.
So what have I learned from facebook stalking myself and analyzing the data? To keep my big mouth shut! If I post a picture, facebook will know, who I’m with and when it was taken. Suprisingly though, facebook did not have information to where I was at the time of the photos or when they were posted, but I believe it’s only a matter of time before that happens. Will I delete Facebook and never post on social media again? No way. Though I may delete the information that the public may see, there is no doubt in my mind that someone with extensive knowledge on a computer can resurrect all of this information. Though this seems like a very serious problem,I am very nonchalant about it because I know I can’t do much, and they would find a way to target me still.