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Facebook - to join or not to join?


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So far FB has had no appeal for me.  However, a friend started a group for county birders.  Six months later, it's up to 40+ members, so it looks like it may last a while.

What do y'all think?  Is it worth trading my cyber-privacy?  Should I use my primary e-mail account or set up a new GMail account to isolate any traffic?

Thanks.

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Ummm....let me think of something good to say about Facebook and I'll get back to you with a pros and cons list. On second thought, I'll leave it up to someone else to express the positive side of Facebook and I'll just keep my opinion to myself. Enough said?

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My birding group is managed fairly well.  We have over 12,000 members and there are rarely any arguments or snippy remarks, which is the good .  Sometimes when you innocently correct a person it's taken wrong and off it goes.  I for one have rather thick skin to that kind of thing.  I find it's easier to scroll on than to comment.   You don't lose anything by joining.  Set your privacy setting high and you will almost be invisible to others.  

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1 hour ago, lonestranger said:

Ummm....let me think of something good to say about Facebook and I'll get back to you with a pros and cons list. On second thought, I'll leave it up to someone else to express the positive side of Facebook and I'll just keep my opinion to myself. Enough said?

It's not like I have a high opinion of it myself.  After all, I've been able to resist its siren song, lo these many years.  If it wasn't for this particular group, I wouldn't be considering this form of CyberProbing in the first place.

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10 minutes ago, Seattle said:

My birding group is managed fairly well.  We have over 12,000 members and there are rarely any arguments or snippy remarks, which is the good .  Sometimes when you innocently correct a person it's taken wrong and off it goes.  I for one have rather thick skin to that kind of thing.  I find it's easier to scroll on than to comment.   You don't lose anything by joining.  Set your privacy setting high and you will almost be invisible to others.  

Ah, let me clarify.  It's not the group participation that concerns me, or my visibility to other FB members.  It's Facebook itself and who they might sell my contact info to that's kept me away.

It's like someone opened a great new store but it's in a really sleazy mall that wants me to provide copies of three forms of photo ID, my most recent bank statements, and would I take this plastic jar behind that curtain and fill it to the line?

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Hard to resist when so much has migrated there.  The Michigan Rare Birds email list has migrated to FB and WhatsApp, neither of which I care to entangle myself with.  If you are going to do it use a new e-mail and do not install the apps.  Maybe use a different browser for just FB.  

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FWIW, I am not on FB either and find that all of my bird info needs are met through our active local listserves, the local Audubon Society chapter, friends/contacts in the birding community, and eBird. That being said, there is a very active Birding in Marin and Sonoma County FB page for my county and the county just to the north of me of which I am not a part of but have good friends who are active in it. I am not weighing in either way, but just know that in my experience one can easily get what they need from sources other than FB.

@Charlie Spencerwhat is the draw of the birding FB group to you individually? What do you think you will gain/lose by joining? I would ask your self some additional questions and make a decision from there. 

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6 hours ago, DLecy said:

FWIW, I am not on FB either and find that all of my bird info needs are met through our active local listserves, the local Audubon Society chapter, friends/contacts in the birding community, and eBird. That being said, there is a very active Birding in Marin and Sonoma County FB page for my county and the county just to the north of me of which I am not a part of but have good friends who are active in it. I am not weighing in either way, but just know that in my experience one can easily get what they need from sources other than FB.

@Charlie Spencerwhat is the draw of the birding FB group to you individually? What do you think you will gain/lose by joining? I would ask your self some additional questions and make a decision from there. 

The local Audubon chapter is relatively inactive.  That's actually one of the reasons why a county birders group was started on FB.

I don't 'network' or socialize well and don't have direct contact with local birders.  I've met a handful during a monthly walk but I know most only by name from eBird.  Based on the time of day many submit their checklists, I assume they have more discretionary time that I do.

The draw for me is getting a better tap into what's happening locally.  I may see someone's eBird list for a Spotted Slime-slurper at a local hotspot.  That doesn't tell me a more specific location, something I'm hoping is being discussed on the county group's page.  I'm uncomfortable asking people for their direct contact info, especially if there's a public forum where they're already sharing the info.

I'd also like to use it to arrange to meet others at local sites.  I see checklists for a pond that's a ten-minute walk from my house, submitted by better birders that I'd like to learn from.  They may not be even be discussing their plans on this site, but I won't know without looking.

I think I'm going with @lonestranger's advice and set up a new freebie e-mail account.  I'll enter the minimum of personal info into FB that I can get away with.  Worst case, I toss the whole thing in the garbage after a few weeks.  Best case?  I stick around.  I don't know if I can change the e-mail address to a more permanent one but I won't have anything worth keeping if I have to start over.

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10 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

What do you mean by this?

I'm not sure I understand your question.  I'm concerned who Facebook will sell my personal information to - advertisers, political parties, charities, other organizations I don't care to hear from who will use my info to contact me.

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I recently left Facebook entirely and I do miss some aspects of it including the birding groups of which there are an abundance. But, I do not like many of the things Facebook itself has done in regards to privacy and other issues. I'm currently trying out other social network sites but none so far have quite as much birding and nature content as Facebook. That said I will still never go back to Facebook. 

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2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

The local Audubon chapter is relatively inactive.  That's actually one of the reasons why a county birders group was started on FB.

I don't 'network' or socialize well and don't have direct contact with local birders.  I've met a handful during a monthly walk but I know most only by name from eBird.  Based on the time of day many submit their checklists, I assume they have more discretionary time that I do.

The draw for me is getting a better tap into what's happening locally.  I may see someone's eBird list for a Spotted Slime-slurper at a local hotspot.  That doesn't tell me a more specific location, something I'm hoping is being discussed on the county group's page.  I'm uncomfortable asking people for their direct contact info, especially if there's a public forum where they're already sharing the info.

I'd also like to use it to arrange to meet others at local sites.  I see checklists for a pond that's a ten-minute walk from my house, submitted by better birders that I'd like to learn from.  They may not be even be discussing their plans on this site, but I won't know without looking.

I think I'm going with @lonestranger's advice and set up a new freebie e-mail account.  I'll enter the minimum of personal info into FB that I can get away with.  Worst case, I toss the whole thing in the garbage after a few weeks.  Best case?  I stick around.  I don't know if I can change the e-mail address to a more permanent one but I won't have anything worth keeping if I have to start over.

Sounds like you'll given it some serious thought and got it figured out in a manner that will work for you. Good luck!

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7 minutes ago, DLecy said:

Sounds like you'll given it some serious thought and got it figured out in a manner that will work for you. Good luck!

Yeah, this is mostly about finding 'Gotchas' I'm not already aware of.  I appreciate the suggestions to use a separate e-mail account, separate browser, stick with a browser and don't install apps, etc.  So far, those are easy enough to live with.

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3 hours ago, Kevin said:

Nooo! @lonestranger added a profile photo! I will be forever confused. I still think @Birding Boy is TBN, when I see that Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Uh oh, probably not good for TBNs reputation 😁 I’ll try to get an epic unique photo this weekend haha. Maybe get a selfie with the SEOW I’m hopping to find?

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