Thinking of leaving Facebook? Think you’re ready to take the plunge? Well good luck. I tried today and failed. Maybe you’ve got the guts to cut the cord? I got it worked up in my head that Facebook was just an evil corporation gathering data about me and my friends and that it would someday turn into an actual operating system that controls everything we do and we would all be submitting in some way to Mark Zuckerberg. Must have been the paranoid side of me going off on a rant.
Anyways with all these thoughts swirling around in my head I decided to venture out onto Google to add some fuel to the fire. I searched for keywords like “leaving facebook” and “why is it so difficult to leave facebook” and found plenty of results. Then I logged into my Facebook account and got caught up in a conversation, then I started looking at my timeline and all the warm fuzzy memories of my children and family.. Woah wait a minute here. This is why we are all so addicted to this platform in the first place. It’s because its a story about us that we created. Its a work in progress and I am hooked. I couldn’t do it but maybe you can. Here’s some paranoia to fuel your fire.
Over at Bobby Lin’s website, he has made a great video documentary that asks the question, “why is it so hard to leave facebook?” Some of the commentary there speaks to the issue of inconvenience. For example, you may have friends that are not part of the Facebook community and getting in touch with them can be difficult even to the point of being inconvenient. Do you want to be inconvenient? Then don’t leave Facebook or sign up for an account already! But really now on to some of the more paranoid thoughts I have found around the Facebook phenomenom.
A commentary at Naperville Sun went on to say that after the implementation of the new timeline, “your Facebook presence is now intended to be durable. In 2029, when your firstborn son’s holographic avatar is going off to lunar robot fighting school, you can rewind your Timeline to 2011 and show him what you were up to in the week before he was born.” Now when I started to think about this a little more it weirded-me-out. It got me thinking about the future and the possibility that Facebook could be so ingrained into our lives that we would not be able to turn back so to speak.
Another blog that I was reading some time back, the author, which was a male, said he decided that he wasn’t going to open a Facebook account at all because he didn’t want his potential girlfriends to know everything about him even before they started dating. Which to me makes sense. Why would you want your dates to have all your dirt on your first date? Even if you “friended” your mate after the fact there would this entire history of your past right before their eyes. This would be the offline equivalent of sharing your diary. Any guys doing that are really shooting themselves in the foot.
Still another blog Anthill Online, in an article titled, “The Latest Hot Trend in Social Media: Leaving”, discusses the problems with being associated with too many social networks. To paraphrase, there are only so many hours in a day and we need to spend those hours in the most productive ways. If we are spreading ourselves too thin by updating our statuses in too many places we are then becoming only shallow versions of ourselves. Seth Godin, the marketing genius, “doesn’t allow comments on his blog – a heretical decision in the eyes of many digital media commentators. But for Godin, it’s about being the best he can be at what he does best rather than trying to be everything to everyone, everywhere.” It’s really something we all need to consider before registering for the next big social network.
So in the end I am still a Facebook junkie. I still like to read my friends’ updates; I find it entertaining. Plus I like tweeting the occasional tweet on Twitter. I just have to remember that my primary “social-focus” is my blog.
How are you dealing with social media? Is it becoming a problem for you? Thinking about leaving Facebook? Have you already left Facebook? Leave a comment below and lets chat.