Friday, January 25, 2013

Farewell, Facebook!

I did the unthinkable.

I abandoned my Facebook last night.  I jumped off the bandwagon.  I tore it apart and took it down.  It's over.

I have been deliberating on it for quite a while now and finally, last night, I did the deed.  It has been constantly nagging at me how Facebook's (non) privacy policy has gotten so nebulous and cryptic over time, that I am not even sure at this point if all this is moot and if I, by agreeing who knows how many times to their terms and conditions that I did not read, have already signed off my first born which I have not yet even conceived.  Before, I could control who sees my profile and posts, but now, I am not even sure anymore.  I thought I did, but I always had the stinking suspicion that I did not that I would go back again and again to (what used to be) my privacy settings to make sure I'm not whoring my life and its private parts to the rest of the world, non-excepting dubious, creepy characters.

The last straw was when earlier this week, I got an email from Facebook that someone in Ecuador had tried to get in my account.  It is a (scary) mystery to me:
1.  Why, of all accounts, they would try to get in mine.  I'm nobody important.
2.  Ecuador?
3.  What would they want from my account?

The bottom line is, I don't know.  And if I weigh all this trouble and those that could potentially occur if my privacy is so thus compromised, Facebook is not worth anything.  I have had 500+ "friends" there, but really, the people I hold closest to my heart are very accessible to me regardless.  The rest, honestly, are mere acquaintances anymore, yet I clung on to them as couch surfing options just in case I end up traveling where they live.

While it's true that safety is a concern anywhere on the web nowadays, not just Facebook.  But my email addresses and bank accounts do not have my face plastered all over it.  My exact physical location at specific times is not geo-tagged without my control or consent.  I am very uneasy at the thought of total strangers, dubious characters, and potentially, serial killers, inside my bedroom, without my consent, going through my personal belongings and valuables, and maybe plotting more atrocious and horrifying things than stealing an AmEx.  So I'm untangling myself.

It took a few weeks to get here and I realize how brilliant it is that Facebook has got all of us by the balls.  It has made itself (seem) indispensable   When I emailed my friends that I'm obliterated from Facebook, it raised an alarm.  "Why?  What happened?!" they asked, as if I had sent a suicide note.

It has often been said, too, how Facebook has redefined our relationships - good, bad, or different.  Personally, I think it is sad to see that our relationships have been reduced to voyeurism, to a mosaic of pictures and status updates.  We think we KNOW so much about these "friends" - after all, we are privy to what time they woke up, what they had for breakfast, where they had breakfast, how many minutes they worked out, if they were tardy to work, all their random thoughts and clever quips, their fancy vacations, their outfits to all of the above-mentioned - and so much more.  But the reality is though, relationships take work.  It takes spending amounts of quality time, doing stuff together, going through stuff together, getting through stuff together.  Facebook is not the place where real, honest relationships thrive.

They say in yoga that one must shed what does not serve you.  Facebook had some utility when I had it but I cannot keep deluding myself that there would be any real connections with 500 people at once.  It's not the type of "friendships" I would like to keep.

Farewell, Facebook!

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