EDIT: Now with a question mark considering the new issues developing over FB's email changes. Especially since the issues don't bode well with laws in other countries. This post now expresses a reason why I've considering leaving FB among others.
A few days ago, I had made a post on Google+ considering Diaspora as a secondary social network due to the developing issues regarding Facebook's ethics regarding privacy, support of their users*, and overall transparency. However, after writing that post, I begun to think further, asking myself why am I really considering this option.
Then the day after that post, I recalled the reason. The reason happened to be a person and Facebook friend with good ethics about getting things done, but not on everything else. I had met him months after graduating high school and being the naive nineteen year-old guy that I was, I tried to fit in with him. By fit in, it was pretty much chuckle at his jokes, 'agree' with him about his point of view, and other things. The only thing I found good was the work ethic, as mentioned, that needed a bit of personal tweaking. Everything else, I thought, was off and yet I couldn't disagree, at least when he was around.
This transferred itself onto Facebook. When he and I 'friended', that's when it got worse. Some posts that had no bearing to politics, had been changed into something political when he commented. So a post I made, linking to an episode of Stephen Fry's English Delight, became a dystopia in his own mind, for example. It had gotten to a point where I essentially had to share items that I mostly never read, on my wall. The overall message of those many links, which mostly consisted of views opposite of his own, was supposed to say, "Can I please have my own point of view with you?"
While I may have put many people off since sharing something can indicate endorsement of a view, I wanted to have control over my social networking with family and friends aside from him. I wanted to share things that mattered to me, whether it was a post from a blog like BoingBoing or just something about my life. I finally was able to do so slowly, but surely near the end of last year. He had stopped the comments, I began my reading list with Dan Gillmor's Mediactive and also joining Google+. Through the combination of learning how to improve my own media literacy and judgement, learning how I can become an active contributor to media (ex. blogging), getting into a strong writing community, and the fact that the FB friend stopped commenting helped me feel much more comfortable with who I was.
I no longer felt obligated to be a news junkie of any means or get into politics that I had no real view on. The peer pressure he brought over never boded well personally and the escapism through astrology only made it worse. Now, into 2012, I have never felt better about who I am.
I'm back into the writing spirit and have made friends who accept me for who I am. Some of whom I've know for a few years, but I never really made the time for. I also finally did something I should have done two years ago: 'unfriending' that FB friend in question. Now with that, I don't see myself leaving the Facebooks anytime soon, but that doesn't mean I trust their ethics overall.
I'll give Diaspora a go for awhile just to see what happens. But the worst is over for now and the fact that I graduated cum laude from community college means that those years weren't wasted dealing with that one guy, even when everything else seemed to go wrong.
*While it's a free service, the way FB is going about being user friendly through frequent code changes (read Matt Kurze's FB comments here), timeline being a clunky matter personally, and having pages pay just to gain more visibility, is far from friendly.