Quitter

It’s been a weird 2011 so far. Uncharacteristically I have quit smoking, and quit my job. I’ll get back to those things in a second.

First I’d like to discuss something else I tried (and failed) to quit: Facebook.

I decided to quit Facebook on January 11th, at 6:04pm after reading in the New York Times that FB is worth about $50 billion dollars. This large number, compounded with the large amount of time I had been spending on Facebook made me want to pull the plug. So, I immediately went over to my computer and posted that I was tapping out. I requested that people e-mail me with their information so that we could stay in touch, and then I went about trying to delete my account.

What I found was that Facebook gives you the option to Deactivate, not delete. And like a manipulative, codependant mate, Facebook asks over and over again if you’re sure you want to leave. Then it sets about making you feel guilty for leaving by showing you photos of your friends and saying things like “[Joe Shmoe] is really going to miss you!” “[Betty Best Friend] is sad to see you go!”

THEN, as if it doesn’t know why, Facebook asks you WHY you are leaving. It presents you with seven preselected reasons, such as: I don’t like the layout of Facebook; I spend too much time on Facebook; I’m worried about my privacy. If you select a response, it will immediately offer you an easy solution to the problem. At the bottom of the list is an “Other” box for you to write in your reasons.

After all of this, you click Deactivate My Account, and BOOM, it’s done. But…what’s this? I can reactivate at any time? BAAAAHHHHHHH!

So, a friend of mine tipped me off to this hilarious web-bot called The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. Apparently some artists in the Netherlands created this program that will log into your account, change your password immediately, and then go about deleting everything on your Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, or LinkedIn (not all of them at once, you get to choose which social network you want to disappear from). But, apparently Facebook has blocked them, and sent a cease and desist letter since technically they are “stealing” from Facebook, even if it’s information that YOU OWN and that you are giving PERMISSION for the Suicide Machine to take. Ridiculous.

Disappointed in the impotence of the Suicide Machine I decided to just Google how to delete my Facebook account, and it sent me here (you must be logged in to Facebook to see it). So I did. I deleted my account, but when you choose to delete your account they don’t just do it right away, they tell you that your account will be deleted within 14 days. Guh. Plenty of time to opt out.

And I did.

But here’s the thing. Well, there are a few things.

First of all, I feel like a hypocrite. I don’t just mean because I talked all this shit about how I was going to bail on Facebook and then wussed out. But, because I talked all this shit about how Facebook was treating my likes and interests like commodity, then I came back to Facebook to promote my blog, and the things that I am writing. It doesn’t matter, maybe. I should probably relax.

Second of all, I can’t stop thinking about this TED talk that a friend of mine posted when I has threatened to commit web suicide. Amber Case proposes that we are creating a second self on the internet. Another dimension. And, I know she isn’t being totally literal, but I can’t stop imagining a world of other us-es that exist in the internet, and that once they are done gathering all the information they need about us in order to become free-thinking, functional cyber people, they will lock themselves in, shutting the internet down forever, from the inside, and forever continue to live as us. Bob says, “You mean The Matrix?” I don’t. I mean that we would continue living normally, but would never have access to the internet again. And who knows if the cyber us-es even continue living after they shut down the internet. Would it even matter? God, I would make a terrible sci-fi writer.

Anyway, I also quit my job. So, after seeing that awesome display of rambling above, if you want to hire me for writing, or anything, please let me know.

Best parts about this week:

I started a writing group.

We began our epic re-watch.

A customer made this for me.

 

It’s been a good week.

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