Quitting Facebook is like attending your own funeral

email article email article print article print article tip @techmeme


Quitting Facebook — It’s one of those things you think about every time your mother comments on a photo of you, or a high school buddy boasts about a new business venture, or a good friend feels the need to fill your day with his newborn’s bowel movements. The first time I gave it any serious thought was when it was reported that facebook had developed face recognition technology, my initial reaction was. “So who cares? It was bound to happen eventually.” So what if I have shared so much of my personal life online that a computer program can recognise my face? So what if I “like” a product that I’ll never buy and get news feeds from brands I have no interest in, this is what it takes to maintain an online presence.

My Facebook friends outnumber those I could actually rely on in a fight by three hundred to one. If facebook were Tron I would be dead. That’s irrelevant though as long as I poke them every so often to remind them that I still exist and keep up good neighbourly relationships in Farmville.

I no longer share my real life online. Instead I shape my offline antics through invites on Facebook. How long will it be before I start living completely vicariously through others and give up entirely on personal interaction. I am aware that this sounds like the ranting of our fathers when the internet first became a meaningful form of communication however they could never have guessed how much personal freedom we were about to give up.

I don’t have a problem with the fundamentals of social networking. As human beings, we all need to interact with other human beings. The language we are starting to associate with networking, however, has become severely perverse. “Friend” no longer bares the weight that it used to. “Sharing” doesn’t involve the consideration it should and “Like” is no longer an emotion it’s an action.

These sentiments are not new, in fact they’re rather boring, and when I expressed them to a colleague I was told in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t like the system I was welcome to leave.

That was when I first decided to quit Facebook. It wasn’t the invasion of privacy or the annoying updates about a month long break up, it was as simple as exercising my freedom. The old advertising adage goes (and it feels apt to mention marketing in an article about Facebook even though I promised myself I wouldn’t) “if you don’t like what they’re saying change the conversation.” Well I can’t change it so I’m going to the bar. I would no doubt be saying the same thing about Google+ had I ever bothered to use my account. In fact, part of me prefers Google+ largely because I don’t know anyone that is using it.

Part of this exercise is incredibly self-indulgent I really just want to know who is going to miss me. I have always been fascinated by who would come to my funeral if I died today. Then again, the fact that I view de-activating a facebook account on par with a funeral is an indication of the impact it has had on my life.

email article email article print article print article

  • Heather Parker

    I did it, but after a few months was persuaded back on not for the enhancement of my private life, but because so many other sectors have bought into FB as a way of identifying people. It’s much easier to join any conversation online when you have a FB profile. So I lacked commitment in a measure equal to how pervasive it is in everyday life…

Related Articles on the Web

Most popular articles

Topics for this article

[ advertising enquiries ]

Share
  • BURN MEDIA TV

    WATCH THE LATEST EPISODE NOW
    Latest Episode
    Unboxing the Lenovo Yoga 10

MORE HEADLINES

news

VIEW MORE

interviews

VIEW MORE

future trends

VIEW MORE

entrepreneurship

VIEW MORE

social media

VIEW MORE

facebook

VIEW MORE

twitter

VIEW MORE

google

VIEW MORE

advertising & marketing

VIEW MORE

online media

VIEW MORE

design

VIEW MORE

mobile

VIEW MORE

More in Facebook, Social networking

What killed Myspace? Is Facebook next?

Read More »
Link Link Link