No thanks, Facebook, I'm happier as a dinosaur
I did it to rejoin the other dinosaurs like myself who feel more comfortable there.
Several weeks ago, I wrote a column saying that I was considering deleting my Facebook account because of all of the unannounced changes they tended to spring on us.
Last week, I deleted my account. Just walked away from the whole thing. But I did it for another reason.
I note that, since doing this, my world hasn't ended. My friends still call. My truck still starts. The sun still rises and sets and my dog still growls at the ceiling. In the grand scheme of things, it appears that nothing much has changed.
Many of you know that I have a certain comfort zone as regards privacy and, more and more, I found that the things that were happening on Facebook were taking me outside of that zone.
For those new to this column, that zone reaches its zenith every fall when I spend 12 days in a tent located in the foothills outside of Twisp. No television. No cell phone reception and, certainly, no Internet or Facebook. I won't go into the topic of showers and the like, but there is a lot of down time and a whole bunch of privacy.
In this matter, I readily concede that there's much about the Internet -- and its social networking sites -- that's good. Politicians are still saying and doing the dumb things they've always said or done before, but voters' teeth now start grinding much more quickly because everyone now has some kind of camera available.
The information avalanche starts when the photographer posts something and, suddenly, everybody is (yet again) made aware of the fact that, as regards our elected betters, there's not much that's changed regarding their behavior since they first appeared on the planet.
Politicians being politicians, however, this also means that the "spin cycle" of "explanations" (for lack of a better term) for their behavior now begins to get wide dissemination much more quickly.
Too, even though there are still ruling regimes in other nations that make the world cringe, it's apparent that both the Internet and social networks have become a huge thorn in their sides. Now, people can more easily see how things are in other parts of the world and this sets them to asking some rather tough questions that their leaders don't really like -- or want -- to answer.
Still, I've deleted my account. I'm not sure that that's entirely true since I don't really believe that what we do on Facebook -- or elsewhere on the Internet -- is ever actually deleted. It's probably still out there ready to be "accessed" by someone who wants to know something about us.
And that, finally, is what did it for me.
They already know too much. They know our "friends." They know what we "like." They can see any comments we've posted. Now, they want us to start a "timeline" of our lives wherein we can post what we looked like, what we did, who we knew, where we were, or where we went all throughout our lives. They also want us to believe that this would be a marvelous thing.
Sorry. Ain't buying that one and, so, I quit -- even though I know that getting off of the "information highway" is impossible.
Credit card companies track our purchases. Search engines record the sites we visit. Cell phone providers make a record of the calls we make and, even, where we've been. Supermarkets track our preferences. Security cameras monitor our behavior in public. And so forth and so on.
But Facebook gave me a choice and I took it. I'm done with helping them know me.
More and more, I find that I'm much like my parents and grandparents as regards "progress." They were comfortable with certain things and never liked others.
My dad, for instance, never liked electric car windows. He preferred rolling them up and down the old fashioned way -- with handles. "Just one more thing to break down" was his standard response whenever the topic came up. I think I understand his feelings on the matter now that I'm older.
Some of us will always be looking for a tar pit in which to stand.
And, when we find one, we're perfectly content to stop there and watch the world continue on its merry way.
Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Seems Like Yesterday 3/30/12
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