by Mary C. Long
By now you MUST have seen someone post about the many, many reasons why they REFUSE to download Facebook's messenger app (even though you know they eventually will, as we all will). But in case you missed it, they're worried because Facebook has gone too far this time (or so it goes) and requires unrestricted access to pretty much everything you hold dear in exchange for Messenger access.
But before you light that torch and join the other villagers, I'll give you a chance to be the voice of reason - and laugh meanly at your panic-striken friends (not that you would, of course).
I hear tell that, in a little-known side note buried in its terms of service, Facebook suggests it may, at some point, insist you rename your middle child "Zuckerberg." Ridiculous? Well so is the drama getting tossed around about "Messenger" these days.
CAN Facebook listen to you, take pictures of you Crapbooking (you know what it means, don't pretend) and text your friends - all without your explicit knowledge or permission? YES! But it's tinfoil-hat paranoid to assume they would.
They've had permission to take pictures already (if you've ever synced with your camera roll to post pics - and you know you have) - and yet they haven't done this . . . as far as we know.
And they've also had permission to track your location and sell it to Russian spies seeking to kidnap and sell you into slavery. Alas, they haven't done THAT yet either. Yet.
Here are the facts: Facebook Messenger needs microphone access if you want to record messages to send to friends (which is kind of cool, but trust me, you'll sound terrible - so you can just SHUT THIS OPTION OFF in your settings - privacy - microphone in iOS. I'm sure the option exists in Android too.) And look at that! Scary recording access gone!
And Messenger needs SMS access so you can text. And if you don't want to do this (or either) - then . . . don't. No one is forcing you to text via Messenger. Just give everyone your phone number . . . hey, waaaait a minute - that's MORE personally intrusive! Looks like you're in a pickle, friend.
But either way, please stop believing that you're granting Facebook (by way of Messenger) some magical malevolent powers over your person that you haven't already offered up on a platter to every single app offering similar functionalities.
And please stop clicking and sharing linkbait.
*Scared cat image from Bill Kuffrey