Transferring money online is a pretty personal business. I’m not going to say, open up my online bank account page in front of anybody else, not even my nana, because money just isn’t something I talk about with people – and people who ask you about your funds are people I don’t talk to. Strange then, that when I recently transferred $20 to my housemate, that below the details there was the option ‘let blahblah know you’ve transferred money through Facebook.’
Back up. Hold on. Pull up your socks.
Why on Earth would I let a website like Facebook hook up to my netbank? Bigger question: how has Facebook become so powerful on the web that they are allowed to be connected to your bank account? Is this another marketing ploy? It feels like one. See how much money I have, check out my weekly income, and suddenly, advertising to me just became a whole lot easier.
Websites already ask you if you would rather sign into them through Facebook than with a username / password combination, and this seems okay-ish for sites like Goodreads and Pinterest, but sites that involve money trading hands shouldn’t be anywhere near this social media giant purely because… why do they want to be?
I constantly try to clean up my account. In 2011 I had 570 friends (for some reason) but after a friend attempted to hack me so as to stalk an ex-boyfriend, my old account was shut down, and so I had to make a new one. I began that new one with a different view. Going through the ‘people you may know’ section looking for my old friends got me thinking ‘do I really need to add so-and-so again? What do they actually mean to me? What impact do they have on my life?‘ Most of the time the answer was not much. Now, I have a lower friend count. I don’t feel the need to add everybody, I’m not perturbed by my number of friends, and I actually feel a strange sense of anxiety, or pity, or something for those with 1000+ friends.
Though I am sure there are happy, actually popular people out there with 2000 friends.
With my new account also came the exclamation that I was only going to upload photos of some worth. Is it funny? Is it interesting? Is it of friends? Is it pretty? However I do tend to upload a selfie or two which cannot be described as any of these things except funny. People don’t need to see everything. I cut back on my ‘about me information’, too. No more school history, no more workplace. There’s really just no need for me to have them up. Friends know where I went to school, family knows where I work. Nobody else should care what I’m doing.
It was only a couple of weeks ago though that I took to hacking down my ‘liked pages’. I unliked all my music, books, films, television pages etc. Goodreads is where I get my book listing fix, and the rest don’t matter. Besides, pages clog up a newsfeed. Except that now that I’ve cut down my liked pages to 50 (I can only see and count 18, but apparently there’s still 50. Very shifty.) I’ve been getting advertised to twice as much. Pages I’ve never even heard of show up in my newsfeed as if they’re welcome friends. “Your friend People likes this page. Like this page?’ No. Fuck off. I don’t want to like no pages about clothes or shoes or whatever. Worst of all are those apps and pages you have to ‘allow’ access to your page to see. I never click those because I don’t know why they want to know my friends list, information and likes.
But nothing about Facebook, not even the fact that they store all your messages and know not just my phone number but also the phone company (displayed in your ‘about section’ if you use it on your mobile), disturbs me more than them asking to be connected to my bank account.
So, why do I still have one? Well, my family. It’s pretty much the only way I communicate with my father who is frequently out of the country and can’t answer a telephone. Facebook chat is the easiest way. Plus, I just do. You know? You just keep your facebook. You aren’t sure why you haven’t deleted it yet, you just know that you don’t really want to… yet.
Until of course they find this post and send assassins to kill me. It’s only a matter of time.