Tuesday, January 6, 2015

App Fear. Paranoia or just Plain odd?

Howdy, howdy. It's Tuesday and I am supposed to be off doing other, more goal-orientated tasks like pulling info together for taxes. Instead I'm asking a question about Apps and how people use them. As in, I have my handy Kindle Fire. I love my Kindle Fire. It's backlit, does text to speech, lets me increase fonts until the cows come home (or until I can see what I'm listening to), and more than a few other fun things. Life is good and Chrissy is a happy camper with her Kindle Fire. (ooh, the dreaded 3rd person reference).

I've also downloaded a few apps, not too many, but some. They're fun and allow me to spend a bit more time online. Which makes me think maybe an app would my solution to my Facebook problem. Almost everyone has heard me dither about my Facebook account and how it gets short shrift because there are so many other things (writing anyone?) I could spend my limited online time on. A modern, and easy solution to most people I know would be to download the FB app on my Fire and spend my evenings liking and catching up with all you lovely people. In theory, that's great. And I've entered the app store more than once, determined THIS time I'm going to download the app.  But I don't.

The reason is App fear. Because every time I stop and read the permissions I'll be giving the Facebook app I can't make myself hit the download button. Have you read all those permissions? Maybe I'm foolish. I have a FB account. I use the account on my desktop. I know they have their little Facebooky fingers in everything I do or everywhere I go online, but seeing all those permissions laid out in black and white on the app store makes me cringe. Why the heck do they need ALL of that (including the ability to "download without notification") for me to read friend's posts and click like? If nothing else, how much of my Fire resources and battery life will that app burn through if I allow it free reign?

And this is where I wonder, am I just being paranoid? Should I fulfill my American duty as a consumer-driven data minee by closing my eyes and downloading the app uncaring if it will misuse my trust and the access I've given it? It's not that I have anything to hide, it's just, all those permissions seem so unnecessary. It's kind of like our packaged food situation. They spend all this money and research on food additives to make things addictive and packaging and shelf life. Maybe they could spend a little on actually providing minimal nutritive value.


Anyway, maybe paranoid isn't the correct word. Maybe odd would fit the bill better. What do you think?

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