Tuesday, 15 March 2011

To FB or not to FB, that is the Question...

After a few years of being on Facebook, I decided to take the plunge and leave. This may come as a surprise to a few who hadn't known - I would have had to tell 269 people -admittedly not many - but it would have taken me a long time to inform everyone, and some may have tried to convince me to stay.
The fact is, we had had a week's holiday abroad away from home and not once was I able to use to use the internet. Arriving back home, I realised how unreal Facebook really is and how much I would rather live in the real world. I also realised how much a 'part' of me it had become - and that made me uneasy. I had read before how difficult some people had found leaving Facebook - the emotional manipulation that the social network loads on people attempting to deactivate their accounts. This alone made me angry. I like my privacy and I also don't like the idea that various government agencies in various countries are able to tap into my account.

On the other hand, I have enjoyed Facebook a lot. It had been great fun looking at video clips people sent me, reading comments on posts, keeping abreast of what old and new friends, not to mention some whom I've never met, write. I shall miss that. I'll also miss the information communication which is so quickly and easily spread about, particularly the ability to spread news and information which wakes people up out of their slumber.

But it wasn't too hard to leave, once I'd got past the psychological manipulation, the nice photos of people who 'would miss me'... the fact that there were various steps I had to take, each one giving one the sickening feeling that one was going past the point of no return. Even at the end, I was told that I could reactivate my account using my former password. So I suppose that it's all still out there somewhere and hasn't been completely deleted after all. Hmmm. So that's how Facebook keeps its claws in its users.

Am I now a castaway on a desert island, far away from civilisation? Am I now the equivalent of an astronaut - sent up into the vacuumous ether, separated, cut off and irrelevant? No. Now that I'm out, I have a wonderful feeling of simplicity and cleanness. I may be no longer in Facebook, but, just as when we went out of organised church, 5-6 years ago, I know that the desert is the place to find reality.

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