A little while ago, the New York Times ran a piece where they discussed the ‘Sticky-factor’ of Facebook. Effectively the article boiled down to the fact that it’s a nightmare to exit the Facebook ecosystem – actually removing your data from their ecosystem borders on being a Sisyphysian task. The most poignant part of the article reads:
It’s like the Hotel California,” said Nipon Das, 34, a director at a biotechnology consulting firm in Manhattan, who tried unsuccessfully to delete his account this fall. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
The Obligations of Social Networking
Imagine this: you adopt some service or another and it doesn’t require you to exchange the popular unit measurement for access to that service (i.e. you don’t shell out cash for access). That said, you do provide an alternate form of capital – one that tends to elude a clear monetary value – your personal information. You give information concerning your religious orientation, your gender, relationship status, etc. Now, you’re not required to put all of that information into a public space, but what you do provide should be accurate to improve the service for both yourself and – this is the catchy part – the other people who are using the service. The system is more valuable both to others, and to yourself, by providing as much accurate information as possible.