Facebook on iPad

The Hidden Costs of Social Networking (And Why Facebook Is ‘Free’)

When you visit Facebook’s homepage before logging in, you may notice the following claim boldly written at the top:

“Sign Up … It’s free and always will be.”

But is it really free?

What are some social networking pros and cons? The biggest pro is that it’s ‘free’ in a financial sense. But if you dig a little deeper, there’s always a price. You may not be issuing monthly payments to use Facebook, but there is a cost. And unless they make some major changes to the platform, or unless their giant team of developers is willing to work for free, there always will be.

The same goes for all major social media platforms that claim they’re ‘free’ to use.

The cost of social networking may not be obvious to us as we scroll through our news feeds, but it’s there. As soon as you click “Agree” on the Terms of Service page, you’re willingly giving up pieces of your life, and you may not even know it. So before you sign up for the next big social networking platform, consider these costs, often hidden somewhere in the long Terms of Service text that we’re so quick to skip over:

Hidden Cost #1: Privacy.

“That’s easy,” you say. “I’ll just update my Privacy Settings.”

Not so fast. Even if your profile is kept from public view, Facebook still knows all. And as long as you’re using their platform to store your photos, videos, status updates and other important information that could be used to build your family legacy someday, nothing you say or do is really private.

Did you know that Facebook mines your information and sells it to advertisers to make a profit? It’s one of the cons of social networking. If you’ve ever scrolled through your news feed and seen an ad for that dress you were eying on Nordstrom’s website the day before, that’s a sign that Facebook’s been keeping tabs on you.

Hidden Cost #2: Quality.

You just bought an expensive new camera and used it to take hundreds of high-resolution photos of your daughter’s birthday. As soon as you upload them to Facebook, their quality is compromised.

Facebook compresses your digital media to allow for more storage space on its servers. That’s why it’s ‘free’ to upload and store your photos. Sure, it’s great that you can create albums and notes to tell your stories and share them with the world, but what happens when you go to print one of those precious photos from Facebook? The high-resolution quality is now set at a low resolution, resulting in a grainy, pixelated image.

The moral of the story: if you’re going to upload your media to Facebook, make sure you store full-res versions in a secure, private digital space, first. Your FamilyArc archive is a great place for that, along with a physical backup drive if you have one. You can organize your photos and videos inside of your digital archive and use them to enhance your written stories as well.

Hidden Cost #3: Security.

Facebook makes no guarantees for the security of your digital media. As a ‘free’ social networking platform, they don’t have to. So what happens if Facebook’s servers crash and your data is lost? I wouldn’t count on them having a backup for you to access and download…

There are many social networking pros and cons, but as we’ve demonstrated here, the cons seem to outweigh the pros if you’re looking for a way to preserve your family legacy. Consider investing in a digital archive that offers privacy, quality and security all in one platform.

At FamilyArc, we believe that your legacy matters. Your media should be preserved for easy access by current and future generations. That’s why we’ve created a platform that lets you upload and store anything that can be digitized, in a secure, private space family members to share and enjoy. What’s more, using our storytelling features, you can organize it in a way that will be meaningful for those looking back on your family history.

We’d love to begin helping you tell those stories. Request a demo to learn more about how FamilyArc can help you preserve your legacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *