This is my first post on WordPress, so I’ll start it right off by saying what no one else will.
Many of you may be wondering why quit, after the poking and prodding you got from me to join in the first place. I was a daily Facebook watcher, taking in and putting out to friends and family, tagging, sharing, being an active part of the digital community. Heck — some of you I never would have hoped re-connect with if not for the Facebook giant.
It was the accidental foray into the once-you-click-you-can’t-go-back Timeline format that pushed me off the edge. I don’t recall having been warned that this would be a permanent change, but apparently that is the case. So to the programmers who keep changing and tweaking every few months so that more and more of my data can be mined to be sold, you can keep your changes. I quit.
What really gets me is the new inability to delete content — now, only ‘archive’ or ‘hide’ options are given. If Facebook wasn’t just a little creepy to begin with, this shouts from the rooftops, ‘Your content doesn’t belong to you. It now belongs to us.’
If you’re not paying for it, you are the product being sold.
As I sat in my easy chair unfriending all the connections I’d made, deleting photos, removing what I could of past posts, generally whittling my profile down to a handful of personal (already public) information about me, it felt really, really good. I was giving the middle finger right in its face. All or nothing.
No one can complain about unfriending when even Mom and Dad gets the ax.
‘I’m taking my life back,’ I told Scott, as he entered the dimly lit office at 2 AM, my stare fixed firmly on the computer screen. He kissed me on the forehead, smiled and shuffled back to bed. He never really understood the whole Facebook rage anyway; it was all my thing, an instinctive need to be connected to people albeit digitally. For the next 2 hours, I dutifully removed what I could of three years on Facebook, a time-and-brain-sucking beast. I checked and rechecked. All gone.
Done. And I went back to bed.
Next, a new doppelganger would emerge to replace ‘me’: DirtNKids Blog. An email notifying friends and family why they got axed would follow.
Why keep my profile active after all that trouble? Because deactivating takes only seconds. That’s what they want you to do (deactivate), because it keeps all your content intact (to them) while unavailable (to you, others). But deactivating accomplishes nothing if the escape hatch is what you want; as soon as you log back in, you’re automatically ‘active’ once again, whether you know it or not.
Once on Facebook, always on Facebook.
I know all that content is not really gone. I’m a realist. Three years of my life all sits there in some database on some super-computer owned by some stranger, tidbits of myself that I willingly gave up.
From here forward, I’ll be doing things differently. A slightly more anonymous ‘blogging’ replaces posting, and I may find myself with a bit more time to get my nails dirty.