It is finished

22 May

Facebook, that is.

Well, my part in it.

Well, in two weeks it will be.

Inasmuch as they ever get their claws out of you.

This is getting less dramatic by the line, isn’t it?

Well, anyway. Some time ago, my good friend Lucien E.G. Spelman (who is a much better writer than I) (And who has a story in “The Dark Pages” anthology which you should all go buy right away) left Facebook in one fell swoop, sending out a notification to all his friends that he’d be leaving. The letter was brilliant and angry and poetic, and I cheered him on, and the letter went and sat in the back of my mind and waited for me.

I found facebook inane and a bit creepy. But I was also using it to keep up with some friends I really hadn’t kept in touch with otherwise, and that was very nice. And yet and still. Facebook bothered me.

And then I spent a few days reading up on its privacy issues. And those, combined with things that Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook, and lower than a creature from a Black Lagoon) said about the death of privacy. I can live with a lot of privacy, or a little. What I can’t stand is having someone else take control. It should be up to me, not them, what I reveal.

So I left. Inasmuch as you can, since Facebook notoriously hard to get away from. They’ll deactivate your account with no problem, but to delete it…well, good luck.

I didn’t have a great deal of stuff on my Facebook. I suppose the biggest piece of information someone can glean from my account is 1) I have children 2) I need a haircut 3) I really liked Ronnie James Dio.

So now I’ll keep up with this blog. And I’m readily available in e-mail.

The irony that the e-mail is a Google mail account is not lost on me, given that Google and Facebook are two companies with an awful lot of problems respecting people’s privacy rights.

And again, for me, it’s not the privacy rights, it’s the right to choose. We go on and on about that in so many other avenues of our lives. The right to choose which thug will take our political office. The right to choose how we die. The right to choose whether or not to have babies. The right to choose what god we follow, and what we think of him, or her, or them. The right to choose the next American Idol, or the third finalist in the Biggest Loser finale.

(Seriously, America, put Daris in. I like Koli okay, I really do, although he has a serious confetti fetish, but I’m really rooting for Daris here. Okay? Daris.)

So why are we so strident about the right to choose in all those places, and yet so willing to give it up in a second on the internet?

I don’t know. Technology is a weird world all its own. I mostly love it (I’m too geeky with gadgets to ever be a full luddite) but there are elements of that world that scare the shit out of me.

Maybe the Age of Privacy is really over, like Zuckerberg (may his camels lay funny) pronounces. But I have to right to choose if I join the next Age.

When the Age of typewriters ended, as it were, no one came by my house and took away my typewriter (I own one. I can choose to continue using it or not. I don’t particularly use it, but you see my point.)

And that…is 600-ish words blown about Facebook, and I think that’s quite enough.

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Posted by on May 22, 2010 in Uncategorized


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