Parkland Press

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Editor’s View

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by The Press in Opinion

Will you pay to connect?

It has been a little over a month since news broke of the Facebook data breach involving Cambridge Analytica.

At least 87 million Facebook users were impacted.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized, appeared before Congress and went on a social media frenzy noting upcoming changes to the social media giant to ensure the privacy of users going forward.

During Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress, Sen. Orin Hatch asked Zuckerberg if Facebook would always be free.

Zuckerberg responded, “Yes, there will always be a version of Facebook that is free.”

This statement had the Internet buzzing on whether there would be a charge to access Facebook in the future.

I remember the days of connecting to the Internet with dial-up service, hearing the tones and the all-familiar “You’ve Got Mail” voice.

I could push the button on my computer for my email and go do something else during the time it took to connect to the Internet.

Now, I’m frustrated when there is any delay in connection.

I’m assuming a “free” version of Facebook would include advertisements and a delay in connectivity to my account.

I currently pay $100 to shop at a wholesale warehouse, $100 to shop online at Amazon with two-day shipping (increasing to $119), $30 a month for my family members to listen to music legally on their phones, a monthly fee to watch cable television and a fee to another company to listen to 1970s music and more in my car.

What I’ve been thinking about is whether I’d be willing to pay for the luxury of instant communication via Facebook, considering all of the other monthly charges I incur.

And the answer is probably yes.

I have come to depend on the largest social media site for the “instant” connection to friends and family.

In the last month, I learned of the death of a friend who lost his battle with ALS via a posting made by his daughter.

This friend was my son’s confirmation sponsor and a pillar in the community. He will forever hold a special place in my family’s hearts.

This past week, I learned of the death of my former sitter’s son. Her family is an extension of mine, so this one was tough to take, too. If I hadn’t seen the posting on Facebook, I would not have known to attend his service.

In the old days, we would have learned of these deaths by telephone calls, made by multiple people, which may have taken days.

I’ve also viewed photographs of college graduations, proms, new babies, a wedding in Scotland and a recent engagement.

My family is thankful my friends post recipes because I have tried many, and they are delicious.

If I didn’t have Facebook, how would I share in these joys, accomplishments and sorrows?

I have come to depend on this social media giant to remain connected to those I care about.

For that reason alone, I will pay — because nothing is more important than staying connected.

Debbie Galbraith

editor

East Penn Press

Salisbury Press