A recent report from the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers, has revealed that there are now 137 million Internet users in India. That is just around 11 per cent of our total population.

But here’s the interesting part: Facebook’s advertising tool claims that there are 61.4 million Indians usfng Facebook. This means nearly 44 per cent of the Indian cyber-population is active on Facebook.

Facebook has been in the news constantly this year. It released features like the Timeline and App Center, crossed one billion user registrations, and of course, had its big initial public offering (IPO).

But more recently, it has been heavily criticised for the proposed changes to its privacy policy, which supposedly gives more power to the company over its users’ data. Several people have spoken out against this, and some groups are even trying to drag this issue in front of a court.

Privacy is definitely important on the Internet, but is it really Facebook that is taking away our privacy?

Facebook was intended to act as a tool to connect with our social circle. But it is largely being used as a shortcut to socialise. People prefer sharing intricate details of their lives over Facebook. Tons of photographs get shared with complete strangers. Status updates reveal information that ought to be kept behind closed doors.

People share because it’s so easy, and it makes them feel good. So, they continue sharing, and continue feeding the web site.

It is time to stop feeding the monster that Facebook has become. This monster has grown so big that even a scrap of information that you feed it could be used against you.

In the end, it is amusing to read reports of how people complain about Facebook’s privacy policy.

Stop feeding the monster, and you won’t get bitten. It’s that simple.

(Aditya is a student of Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bangalore.)

(This article was published on December 12, 2012)
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