So, you’re considering parting ways with Facebook? Admirable decision. Facebook’s extensive data collection practices have operated without adequate oversight for too long, revealing just how much social media platforms know about you.
However, breaking free from Facebook can pose challenges if you rely on its apps and features. How do you stay connected with friends and family without Messenger? And what about keeping track of everyone’s birthdays?
Fortunately, there are alternative apps and features that offer enhanced security, less sponsored content, and an overall better experience than Facebook. Here are some suggestions to kickstart your Facebook detox:
Opt for Signal for Messaging and Group Chats
Signal is a straightforward, private messaging app with end-to-end encryption for secure communication. With a clean design and open-source nature, Signal allows free messaging and calling across various operating systems. Crucially, the app is ad-free and doesn’t track your activities. Edward Snowden even vouches for it:
Get News from Feedly
Instead of being inundated with news pre-filtered by Facebook, regain control over your reading with the Feedly app. Subscribe to feeds that pique your interest and organize them according to your preferences. As @Yair_Rosenberg recommends: “Don’t want algorithms, whether on Facebook, Google, or Twitter, to dictate your reading? I highly recommend using an RSS reader like Feedly for the vast majority of my reading.”
Use Eventbrite for Event Organization
For checking or organizing upcoming events, consider Eventbrite as a substitute for Facebook Events. Explore events in your locality or worldwide, or create your own if nothing catches your eye.
Letgo for Buying/Selling Online
If you’re looking for a new platform to buy and sell items online without the complexities of Craigslist, Letgo is an excellent alternative to Facebook’s Marketplace. Available on iOS and Android, it facilitates listing items, negotiating with local buyers, and arranging for payment collection.
Rely on a Traditional Calendar for Birthday Reminders
Save yourself from the clutter of irrelevant birthdays on Facebook by using a calendar or a calendar app. Only input the names and birthdays of friends and family members you genuinely care about.
Maintain Privacy by Using Disinformation Online
Social media platforms often request personal information that can be exploited for targeted advertising or more malicious purposes. Protect yourself by using a different email when signing up for apps mentioned above, and consider associating a different name with your account. As suggested by Privacy International founder Simon Davies: “At a fundamental level, use disinformation. Never give anything away. Even on social networks, don’t give away your real birth date, your location, or your real name.”
Remember, if the service is free, you’re the product! Make it challenging for data collectors with disinformation—and have some fun with it!
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