Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Farewell Facebook

Well, the honeymoon with Facebook is over---already. I deactivated my account yesterday for the second time within a two week period. I had already become irritated with the pushiness of the website a week ago and deactivated. But I then read an article in our local weekly newspaper that I felt required a reaction; I decided to see what the word was among the locals on Facebook. Oops --- you can’t play unless you sign in so I obeyed and typed in my “old” password. The ravenous beast from the deep grabbed me and pulled me right back into that swirling current of social media, that sea of faces and good cheer, instantly advising that it would take a few hours to “repopulate” my profile information. “Oh, alright!”

Since I had made a typo (or two), in a previous post, which Facebook slapped on a wall, allowing me no chance to correct, I thought I’d outsmart the smarty-pants by first typing my post into MS Word. I then cut/pasted it on the page belonging to a local political candidate that I support. A pop-up appears, a sassy jack-in–the-box note informing me that my post has too many characters. “Darn”---I - did – not – say---; but of course I obeyed, what choice did I have, other than to forget it and not post my retort to an unjust statement in the newspaper (in my view). I spent ten minutes cutting my post down to exactly the acceptable size, hit share or whatever, and there it was. I had done my perceived duty as a citizen of my small town.

That should have been the end of the end-of-facebook story; I was back among the living, there was my face! Maybe. But it only took a couple of days until the next incident, rude intrusion, bold assumption, provoking power play, to occur. A feed, which I requested from The National Interest magazine (where I had just read some great book reviews) to be sent to my Favorites folder, was also grabbed by Facebook and pinned to my wall there. Several National Interest articles had been posted---not including the one I had read. Incredible, and frightening. Needless to say that was the end of my sail on the sea of faces. Never again.

I am happy to have had that experience, now knowing of what I speak with regard to the social giant, lest I be browbeaten as the ignorant curmudgeon who never even ventured to put a toe in the waters. I saw for myself how fast is the current that sucks a body in.

I reposted Virginia Woolf’s serene, albeit melancholy portrait here, which appeared beside my original announcement of entry into Facebook. I said there, words that proved to be prophetic: “She is pretty clearly out of line in the upbeat mega social scene of Facebook.” So am I.

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