28 April, 2011

Kill your facebook

Today marks the end of the social networking experiment for me. Not that it was ever an experiment. It was just a huge time sink, into which I could dump countless hours of each day, with nothing to show for it. I don't think I could even estimate how much mental bandwidth I have actually spent there, because it doesn't often come in giant blocks. It's something that I would go to over and over, obsessively. And part of the reason that it has become so viral in my life was not just because of the main showroom that is my "wall," but because of other things that may not look like facebook, but actually are.

Examples: Scrabble, Bejeweled Blitz.

Who knows what other thing will occupy my mind, my check-out time, my available space. I really don't know. But it's not going to be the social network. I've heard of others getting out, and it has always sounded interesting and compelling to me. But then I think about what I'm going to miss. I think about the posts I won't be able to make, or the photos I won't be able to view at leisure. And then I go to the next level of absurdity, and think about my Scrabble rating! My Scrabble rating! Yes. As if that is a real "thing." And I know it's a bit hypocritical for me to talk about how it may not be a real thing, when only yesterday, I was pointing out how I didn't want to play nice with one of my opponents, because I didn't want to risk hurting my rating.

But that's just the point. My level of dissociation from reality has gone to the point that I buy my own lies.

There are many reasons why I shut it down. And I don't feel compelled to share them all here. One thing that does bother me is that facebook, which is honestly nobody I trust (the entity that is facebook, I mean), has the rights to my entire personal life. They know everything about me. It's all in their database. I told them everything. And then I spilled it all via emails, and wall posts, to people I know, and people I barely know. My inappropriate asides, through the years, are also probably captured in some fragment of the many billions of petabytes of data that facebook is sitting on.

I don't delude myself for one second that shutting down my account makes any of that go away. It's there. The damage is done. Facebook has the rights to my story. I clicked some checkbox somewhere that said it was okay for them to do whatever they wanted with the information. And why? Why do we check the checkbox? Because we want to see a cool feature, or see the results from some inane quiz that we took. Our momentary curiosity is our justification for signing it all away.

So, then, what good does it do for me to delete my account, if it's all out there already?

I don't know that it does any good for the integrity of my private factbook (not a typo). But it creates space in my present life to do things that are not plugged in to the Borg network. I don't know yet what I'll do with the time that I don't play Scrabble. I may write in here, and other places more. I may work more. I may listen to more podcasts, which I've recently taken a great liking to. I may play more music. I may sit and stare at nothing.

Who knows.

But I only know that I won't be contributing to the database.

1 comment:

  1. Staring at nothing is good....especially if you're drinking vodka at the same time...trust me I'm from Oldham...

    Facebook is just weird...er...maybe that's why I have am account...can't remember clicking any boxes but I probably did..it's the vodka you know...