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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Goodbye Facebook

Goodbye Facebook

I did it. I took the leap and deleted my facebook profile.

It’s not nearly as easy to do as you’d think. They make it very easy to ‘disable’ your profile. It disappears from the world at large and goes into hiding. But it’s still there, always there to mock you.

Here’s some directions on how to do it.

Why did I do it? Yes, it kept me in contact with people I haven’t seen in ages and made it easy to talk to a few people. But you know what? Even with the privacy settings maxed out, there’s still this page all about me that has possibly damaging consequences. Like all the drinking pictures that other people have posted.

For several months, every advertising agency on the planet has begun to tack little notes like “like us on facebook” to their ads. Suddenly my interests, hobbies, favorite movies, etc., weren’t just me listing some fun stuff I like. Now those ‘likes’ have become demographic data. The newsfeed is filled with PR notes from Popeye’s Chicken because you listed Popeye’s as something you like, or you became a fan of it. That bothered me. I use Adblock Plus on my browser, so the little ads sprinkled around weren’t there for me to see. But I was somehow, now, linked into this gigantic marketing infrastructure that I wanted nothing to do with. But I stuck around to keep in contact with people. I sanitized my page of likes, interests, and so forth, leaving just my email address and my website.

But about a month ago, I was talking to a girl in a bar, and instead of exchanging numbers, she tried to find me on facebook to ‘friend’ me on her iPhone. (I lost interest right away, but that’s beside the point.) She couldn’t find me because I made myself unsearchable, but I managed to navigate her to the page anyway. My blank, sad page told her nothing about me (my ‘wall’ had some interesting nuggets and insights into my life, though) and she seemed disappointed. And suddenly I was too. Who was I to buck the system and not list all my superficial interests for the world to see, for people to use as a measure for my personality? I disabled my account. But my fancy Android phone kept logging in for me, re-enabling the account each time.

So I deleted the facebook app. Then I hunted for a way to remove my name from the system.

It’s better this way for everyone. Really.

I’m going to be looking for a job, filling out applications for graduate school, working on getting my writing published, etc. and I don’t want everyone who googles my name to come face to face with my facebook me. They can get enough of that here (although I don’t think my name is explicitly stated anywhere on this website, it’s not hard to connect the dots). And there is more depth. It’s not just a list of movies I like (Casablanca! Inception! Yes, I’m a good guy like that).

I do still have a Linkdin account, but I haven’t bothered with it in ages. I tweet (which is now locked and I took my surname off for similar reasons). Drunken facebook posts and tweets are a liability. And they’re too short to be explained easily.

What I want now is a single point of access to the internet-me. That I run. Without the interference of marketing monkeys. If somebody wants to get a hold of me, they can e-mail me. Or call me. Or make some other genuine effort to actually contact me. I’m done with it.

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