I should have listened to my inner voice when I first visited Facebook and decided it wasn’t for me because of privacy issues. But I was excited by the prospect of connecting with old and new friends, and feeling some pressure to get signed up to I could access information that wasn’t coming in email any more. I gave in, signing off my rights to images, posts and information I might share on the site. It was so fun to post this and that, to get attention and “likes” to use the timeline to organize my whole life like an album, but for what? So I’m searchable? I do love the web, love the instant access to information, cross-referencing what I think I know, the chance to say something that people may find helpful or interesting, and another way to connect with people that matter to me, without interrupting them. But as for Facebook and such, I kept coming back to that agreement I’d made giving up privacy rights, as well as the issue of being barraged with ads. I tried getting rid of those, clicking “not interested,” but the flow was infinite. Every word and expression was used to find out my market niche.
I decided to look for a social site that would let me own my information and be in full control of privacy levels, then I’d switch. I tried to delete my account, but “close account” was the only option listed. Facebook informed me that they and my friends would miss me and that even though I was closing my account and my posts no longer visible, it would all still be there for me if I chose to come back. Eery.Then I accidentally reactivated my account by I clicking a link to find out more about 4-H in my area, and voila, Facebook welcomed me back. If it hadn’t been the end of a long day, I probably would have started scrolling down that page without any end, scanning updates, glassy-eyed. Finding out who’s sick, who’s cooking something yummy, and who likes Mitt Romney, whatever.
I decided to remove posts one by one, and was apparently successful at deleting a good number, except my birthday and any posts having to do with schools I’d attended or former employers. My son suggested replacing those with fictitious entities, but I didn’t want my friends to get false information. Finally through a web search I located the delete account link (which I could not see on Facebook itself) on the My Digital Life website. I completed the security check and Facebook promised my account would be deleted in two weeks, as long as I didn’t log on in the meantime. Good bye Facebook. If I can find a way to use the site without feeling so used myself, I might be back some day.
Reminds me of the weeds I pulled today–just had to keep following each root running underground, gently loosening the soil so as to get the whole without breaking it. Otherwise, as soon as it rains, up they pop and spread again.