Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Actually, it was easy to quit you Facebook

But will you stay quit? I hear stories of people who have deleted accounts only to receive emails welcoming them back months after the fact. Sort of like those newspaper subscriptions that will never leave you alone after you've decided to move on, or non-profits that haunt you after you've been generous once. The matter of information use is of course becoming increasingly problematic. Paypal is awful. They never leave you alone once you've signed up and again, deleting your information is problematic. Ditto Amazon. And perhaps ditto Facebook. I'll report back in a few weeks when I check up on my "deleted account."

Yesterday Facebook made the front page of the Globe and Mail's online edition. I had no idea there was a Quit Facebook Movement, I had just had enough. Seems a lot of people have had enough of Facebook. And Zuckerburg is in damage control mode. Seriously. Anyone out there convinced? Want to give any more information to this dude?

As I said, it was fairly easy to quit Facebook and I don't miss much about it. There are downsides: all those event invitations...my "literary" social calendar is lost. Seriously, how long did it take for social networking, particularly of the literary sort, to move almost completely to Facebook? Will presses continue to focus on Facebook, which it seems to me, over saturates tiny pods of friends getting no information out to new people? Not sure of the wisdom there. The few pages that grow tend to be "can this potato chip get 50,000 friends?"

Another downside though is losing many contacts that I would like to have maintained. That became impossible because Facebook is all about mining data for Facebook. The platform actually makes it impossible to export any information you gather (and apparently easy for Facebook to use all that information you've gathered). So if I've suddenly cut you off, sorry about that. It's not personal, it was the system.

In the end, what I do miss? Well, that's it, contacts and events. Event invitations via Facebook were fabulous. Very convenient how one could download onto iCalendar...perhaps the best feature. Being up to date on readings from New York to Los Angeles to Vancouver to Toronto, that was good...are people going to stop doing other kinds of promotion altogether? How will non-Fbook users be informed?

I also miss several friends, especially distant friends that I don't see often. Being able to check in on their day, seeing photos, that was very nice...as for the old friends recently discovered, a big apology. We'll have to find each other again, it seems, in another capacity. 

One thing that seems certain: the use for and need for blogging isn't going away. And the platform is way more reliable, democratic, and reliable than Facebook. A gated community. Or a bit of a Matrix. Users plugging themselves into Zucker__'s motherboard to generate data that he can sell. No wonder he's laughing at his users. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

Update: New York Times has a few different opinions about the new privacy rules... I'm still not buying it. Oh, and fine, I'll miss Wordscraper too. But I'll finally catch up on my reading.

7 comments:

m said...

I took a break from FB this May, although I did cheat with one status update. I have to admit, the first few days were hard. I was pretty addicted it turned out. Now, four weeks later, I don't miss it. (That much.)

I agree, the invitations to events are a big deal and what will probably keep me from deleting my account.

(p.s. I should mention that I just checked and your account seems to be still active. I'm not sure if that's your plan, but if you had hoped to have deleted it, it didn't stick.)

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that they already have plenty of info on you from your having been on Facebook in the firstplace?

ritawong said...

Congrats on making the big leap! If I ever get my online act together, I might eventually migrate along with you...

Lemon Hound said...

Yes, I know about that Facebook flicker. Every other day my partner reports my absence and disappearance...

Apparently it takes two weeks. I haven't checked and won't until after that time.

I will report on the success of my deletion, but yes, I deleted. End of story.

Or not....

And yes, anonymous, they have enough information from, t'is true.

But no more.

Privacy rule adjustment or not. I never did like the idea of a corporate public space. It's like meeting all your friends at the Mall. Well, they're policing the mall, and they make those places to capture a market...

I do miss seeing other people's faces, that is true. But why let one company, a private company, create that space and have us think it's public?

m said...

Ah, good to know about the flickering of deletion.

I have a friend on FB who died last summer. I often go back and look at her photos and videos--ones that I wouldn't have access to anywhere else. I think this will what keep me from deleting completely. But if her parents decide to delete her account, I think I will mine.

thuski said...

Congratulations! facebook may have its finer points, as you suggested but only because people have made it into their very portal of information sharing. I replaced facebook data pour-age with twitter, it was of that rebound relationship tenure. I have been without facebook for almost half of a year now and happy to say there is not a single day I miss it. Life goes on apparently. :]

Jake Mooney said...

It's weird, trying to follow the logic of a lot of people's anti-facebook rhetoric, as posted on facebook...

People are threatening to boycott Facebook because it converts their input into salable corporate intelligence? Do any of these people also boycott Google? Or refuse to use electronic banking?

I wonder if this isn't a step towards social networking engineering its own demise....after years of making people think each and every one of their petty observations is important and worth broadcasting, they've become defensive towards those observations in a way they've never been before.

I feel like threatening to quit facebook is to the political vocabulary of the left in 2010 as threatening to move to canada was in 2004. If you're really leaving it for the rampant ego-machine of Twitter, that's up to you. But I feel like you're just making the trendy decision of the week....