Facebook Feels Like Home, But Is It Time To Move On?

Sure. Take that quiz about which hair-metal band is your spirit animal. Share a few snaps of your toddler at the beach and watch the likes pile up. Comment on that pointed political opinion from the classmate you haven't seen since the Reagan administration.

Just remember that your familiar, comforting online neighborhood-- the people you care about most and those you only kinda like -- exists entirely on a corporate planet that's endlessly ravenous to know more about you and yours.

On a day when our virtual friends wrung their virtual hands about whether to leave Facebook, a thoroughly 21st-century conundrum was hammered home: When your community is a big business, and when a company's biggest business is your community, things can get very messy.

You saw that all day Tuesday as users watched the saga of Cambridge Analytica unfold and contemplated whether the chance that they had been manipulated again -- that their data might have been used to influence an election -- was, finally, reason enough to bid Facebook goodbye.

Not an easy choice. After all, how would Mom see photos of the kids?

"Part of me wants Facebook to go down over the Cambridge Analytica scandal but the other part of me has no other way to know when any of my friends or family have a birthday," Chicago Tribune humorist Rex Huppke tweeted Tuesday -- and cross-posted on Facebook.

Facebook, which began as a social network for college students and the academic community, has experienced exodus before, albeit usually more gradually.

Young people have edged away from it in favor of other platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Instagram (the latter two are owned by Facebook now), and many maintain a presence but use it rarely. Internationally, while Facebook remains widespread, insurgent social networks built around messaging, such as Line in Japan and...

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