For many, Facebook has become the go to website to keep up with friends and family. It has also become much more to a lot of people who spend more and more of their time there. The fact is that for many, Facebook is more of a financial detriment than it is a money saver. What’s worse, it can be hurting you financially in ways that you don’t even realize. The truth is, most people would be better off just deleting their account. Here are some of the financial reasons why:
Do you have a lot of applications on your Facebook account? Maybe you like to play a lot of games or enjoy several of the add-ons available for your account. When you sign up for those apps, have you noticed the pop-up disclaimer saying that you need to give the app access toy our Facebook account? Giving the app access means that the app and its developers may now have access to your personal information, and you have no idea how those developers may use your information.
Many people are pretty lazy about their privacy settings and think that there’s no need to remove certain pieces of information from their profiles. However, not maintaining your privacy setting and hiding personal information can lead to business or scammers collecting your information for nefarious purposes. You wouldn’t give away certain private information to a random stranger on the street, so why would you let the entire internet know it?
Most people are annoyed by the constant ads on Facebook. Not only are they obnoxious to look at, but they’re usually also for completely pointless products or services. However, most of those ads are shown based on your computer viewing habits. Information and data from your profile is used to decide what ads will be posted. Again, this is a risky move because you’re allowing both the developers of these ads and Facebook itself access to your financial information, spending habits, and personal preferences.
Facebook is, more or less, a profiling service. When you like something or post information about yourself, you’re building up a profile about your preferences, choices, and decisions. Combined with posting personal information such as your birthday, address, or employment history, it’s very easy for a scammer or hacker to steal your identity.
It Could Influence Getting Approval on a Loan
Several start-up companies have created services that analyze your social media activity to determine whether or not you should be allowed to get a loan. For instance, they might determine that if you have several facebook friends who have defaulted on loans, that you’re also likely to default on a loan. While this is a bit extreme, it’s not entirely surprising as loan and credit companies are always looking for new ways to see if people should be approved for loans.
Selling Your Information
Additionally, by giving away your personal information to strangers you’ve befriended online, but never met in real life or to apps, you run the risk of hackers or scammers selling your information to businesses or credit companies. You know those credit card offers or spam mail you receive in the mail each week? Your information is being collected from somewhere, and there’s a good chance that Facebook is one of the culprits.
Comparing Yourself to Friends
All those friends that always seem to be going on great vacations and buying the latest toys can easily create envy, especially if things are tight with your finances. It doesn’t matter that they are only showing selective slices of their life that they want you to see, it can still make you feel like you deserve more in the classic trying to keep up with the Joneses scenario. By deleting your Facebook account, you’ll no longer see the unrealistic lives that people are trying to portray, and lose the feeling that you have to try and match those.
The time you spend on Facebook is, in most cases, wasted time. That’s fine if you only spend a few minutes on it in the morning and evening, but there are far too many people who spend hours a day on the website. This time can be used much more productively, and the time wasted could be used to better your finances. By deleting your account, you won’t get sucked into wasting hours a day on the site when you could be doing more productive activities.
Debt Collectors Can Find You
For instance, if you’re in serious debt and you’ve been trying to avoid your debt collectors, they may be able to find you if your profile is public. They may attempt to befriend you with a false account or use public information on your profile to find other ways of contacting you.
Facebook is Forever
Most importantly, Facebook is forever. While you can deactivate your account, Facebook makes it very difficult to completely delete your profile or your information. If you once had personal information publicly displayed on your account, deleting your profile doesn’t mean that it will go away. Anything you write on your account is likely to be available to Facebook and app developers for a very long time.
(Image courtesy of Mike Licht)