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breathe in, breathe out

maura @ 10:30 pm

So you may have heard that last Monday was Quit Facebook Day. Did you quit? I’ve considered quitting Facebook for a while, and thought about it more when I heard about QFD. Like everyone else I’ve been pretty appalled by the privacy implications of all of the recent Facebook changes: they just keep ratcheting up the stuff that’s public by default at the expense of what’s private by default. Although with this recent round of changes I was finally motivated to go in and tweak my own account settings (restricting everything to friends only) which is frankly something I should have done a long time ago.

But I also went in and removed my college + grad school info, because one of the changes is that those institutions are now automatically linked to a dynamically generated page that pulled everyone with those institutions into one place. And while I loved college, I’m not really all that interested in appearing on a page with everyone else who went to my college, too. I never added much other info into Facebook so there wasn’t anything else to remove, but I hear that similar things happened with all of the other “interests” people list on their profiles. Which is just cruddy.

I definitely have a tortured relationship with Facebook. There are many things I like about it, but it stresses me out a bunch, too. I am old enough that it is still kind of weird to me to essentially have lots of people I’ve known at many different stages of my life together in the same room. I also see fb’s hypnotic + addictive side — it’s just too easy to lose an hour poking around to see what everyone’s up to (though maybe since I’m not on it that often it takes me longer when I do visit).

Since I don’t spend that much time on Facebook it was easy to envision myself quitting, but in the end I just couldn’t do it. I hate to say it, esp. since fb is monetizing (ugh, such an evil word) my info, but there’s too much of value there for me to quit. There are quite a few of my extended family members that I rarely see in person that I’m in touch with because of Facebook. And all of those friends who have moved away, acquaintances from college + high school + earlier, pictures of their kids, etc. etc. etc.

This week was the most glaring example of why I haven’t quit Facebook, which I will share even though it’s kind of embarrassing. My birthday was this week, and it was really, really nice to read all of those well-wishing messages from folks on Facebook. I have my fb email forward to my regular email so I didn’t even have to login to fb to see them: anytime I checked my email, there they were, and they came in throughout the day. I’m totally lame, I know, but it made me smile.

Except now I feel kind of guilty, too, because I don’t tend to leave HBD messages for folks unless I happen to be checking in that day, and I don’t check into Facebook that often. Guess I should change my ways to keep on keeping on with the good karma, huh?

3 comments on “breathe in, breathe out”

jonathan (7 June 2010 at 4:29 pm)

Yay: Facebook guilt! It just keeps getting better!

maura (7 June 2010 at 11:22 pm)

Dude, don’t be a hater! Well, okay, you can hate on the fb if you want, I won’t stop you.

mauraweb!» archive » money, meet mouth (19 April 2011 at 10:52 pm)

[…] I don’t see as often as I’d like. But I’d always felt a little weird there, as I’ve blogged before. And I could never figure out a way to keep up with it, despite my best efforts (ditto Friend Feed, […]

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