I recently took a hiatus from social media. During that time, I decided to make some changes to which forms of social media I use. The biggest change was the deletion of Facebook. I had an account which I used strictly for family, amateur radio, and church use and the privacy tightened down on it as tight as I could get it. I don’t mind my data being used to target me with ads; I understand ads fund the service, so I’d rather see ads for things that interest me than things that don’t. The news of Facebook data breaches over the last few years, however, particularly the latest one involving Cambridge Analytica has convinced me that privacy and data security is not something Facebook is terribly concerned about and that they’re not really going to do anything about it. Particularly disturbing was that despite my privacy settings, someone could access my data through an account of someone I was friends with simply because they were using an app on their account. If you notice I am gone on Facebook, it isn’t because I was upset at someone or offended by something someone said, I simply don’t trust Facebook enough to use their service.
This leaves me on just two forms of social media: Twitter and Instagram, but I have also made changes to my footprint on those services. On both, I have set my account to private because I’m tired of certain words or subjects or following certain accounts causing me to be automatically followed by some people’s or organization’s accounts and bots. Being set to private means my tweets and photos won’t be public, but it also means that I can filter out followers from auto-followers and bots. If I get a follow request and you appear to be legitimate or I know you, I’ll approve the request.