No one is forcing you …

FacebookCouldn’t miss the hub-bub-bub back in May over Facebook Quit Day. (Huh, am I making it an “official” holiday by capitalizing it?) Which some genius scheduled for a major US holiday weekend resulting in most people ignoring it altogether. Read just over 30K people actually went through with it and quit their Facebook accounts all over the change to the privacy rules.

I didn’t quit, have no plans to do so and that’s not where I’m going with this. What I find fascinating in the course of the indignation is this underlying idea that you have been wronged, Facebook is evil and “there should be a law!” (Now, there’s a phrase that should be banned from the English language if there ever was one.)

When did having a Facebook (twitter, 4square, Google) account become a right? Did it get slipped in to the list and I missed it? “Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness and a Facebook account” – just doesn’t ring quite the same. (Maybe it falls in the “among these” part of the writing?) This is a private company, providing a service for free in the money sense, cost in the information sense. And there is no force involved in that transaction. I am not required by anyone to have a Facebook account and thus pay out in a bit of my privacy. It’s a transaction I can choose to take on or drop as I will. I have no right to a place there, no requirement to participate, no obligation to remain.

What am I missing here when people are willing to get all up in arms about the terms of a freely-entered-into arrangement but barely bat an eye over the governmental force in our lives?

Photo Credit: Spencer E Holtaway / Creative Commons

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