It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone now that Facebook, like most other free services on the internet, makes money off our data. We get to use the website for free, while it gathers information about us and shows us ads.
This begs a truly 21st century existential question. What is our digital self worth? Can we put a dollar value on it? Here's an attempt.
Find out how much stuff you've uploaded on the Facebook website. The company will send you a file with all your data. Here’s how to get it.
My file is 135 megabytes and it’s all there. All 13½ years I have been on Facebook. Every message sent, friend friended, photo uploaded. The events I registered for, attended or missed. When I entered my relationship after college and when that relationship ended many years later. There is even a record of every ad I’ve clicked on, mostly by accident. And ads that made some rather personal assumptions, like for engagement rings (which I did not click on).
The file is chock-full of goodies: all the selfies with the ex-girlfriend, the self-promotional posts, and the inane comments I decided to share with the world. I can see every little action on my timeline. Apparently at 1:22 p.m. on March 6, 2008, I was “making cute little profile changes.” Cute.