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money, meet mouth

maura @ 10:52 pm


So I quit Facebook the other day. Jaron Lanier’s keynote at ACRL (which I didn’t agree with 100% but was interesting and thought-provoking) was kind of the trigger, though I’d been thinking about it and thinking about it for a year, maybe more. Also, unlike JL, my cats are not and will not be on Facebook.

I’d resisted for so long because of all of the accumulated social capital there, of course. Family members who live far away, old friends I’d lost touch with before the rise of FB, photos of my nieces and nephews, even library folks right here in my actual city that 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, which I joined but can’t find the time for — honestly, even Twitter can be a struggle during the busy parts of the semester).

Why’d I quit? The usual reasons. Most corporations don’t care about privacy, but Facebook seems particularly sleazy about it. Also I hate that they’re making money with all of my stuff: my thoughts, ideas, photos, relationships, etc. Not that Google* and lots of others don’t do that, too, but the walled garden of FB makes it seem even worse.

* I have similar thoughts about Google and don’t use gmail for that very reason, but I am a slave to gdocs and my whole library uses gcalendar so there you go, clearly I’m a giant hypocrite.

I don’t miss it at all, but I do hate the way everyone seems to have moved their events + conversations over to FB without my even noticing. Because now when I click those links I can’t see anything, which is a drag. It’s insidious, really — I hadn’t even realized that had happened until I was chatting with a pal who’s a fellow FB quitter recently.

Anyway, despite my grumpiness I’m glad to have quit — I actually feel lighter and cleaner, if that makes any sense. And now I get to have this spiffy badge on my site, too!

Not f'd — you won't find me on Facebook

les tags: , ,

11 comments on “money, meet mouth”

Tex (20 April 2011 at 2:54 am)

AAAHHH! I am so proud! Join me in non-facebookness! Although today Anne almost convinced me to join twitter, so idk?

Alycia (20 April 2011 at 9:25 am)

Hooray! Congrats!

Em (20 April 2011 at 10:15 pm)

So long as you keep blogging I will still get to enjoy hearing what you are up to. See you on twitter…

maura (20 April 2011 at 10:18 pm)

OMG Tex, join twitter! It’s totally different: no silly games, no walled garden, plus the Library of Congress is archiving tweets which is kind of hilarious (and always makes for a good discussion in the class I teach).

Matt Meyer (23 April 2011 at 9:59 pm)

Interesting . . . After a lovely dinner (thanks), I was looking for you on FB, only to find this! Now I have to see if I can find Jaron L’s speech somewhere. I must say, perhaps given my life on the left, that I never approached FB with any thought of anything even closely related to privacy. I feel like every email I send is close to a public announcement. But I find these comments intriguing and would love to chat about them some more, some time. So thanks.

Anne (24 April 2011 at 1:01 am)

Yeah, the games on twitter suck.

maura (24 April 2011 at 9:47 pm)

Hi Matt, great to have dinner with you, too. I can probably find a copy of JL’s talk, let me know if you can’t locate it.

I completely agree — I never assume privacy anywhere on the internets. But I’d just gotten increasingly annoyed with myself over my own content contributions to FB’s corporate concerns. And I did find that the longer I was on FB the more comfortable I got posting pictures and comments that I usually *don’t* put here or on twitter, e.g., which is a slippery slope.

Now the real test will be when Gus asks for his own FB (or the like) account, which I’m sure is coming sooner than I think…

maura (24 April 2011 at 9:48 pm)

Also Anne, I bet if we tried we could come up with some twitter games! All of that real time commenting on TV shows and other events could be a drinking game, for sure (though that’s not much of a game…).

mauraweb!» archive » thru the flowers (6 June 2011 at 8:27 am)

[…] a curious thing, this quitting Facebook. Not that I was ever a heavy (or unconflicted) fb user, but I definitely miss it for all the […]

betsy (20 June 2011 at 10:09 pm)

did you read this? maybe L got it from you originally?

I’m trying to crank down on google-dependence, but can’t break the fb habit just yet.


maura (22 June 2011 at 9:33 pm)

I don’t think L got it from me originally, but I have seen that article. Yes, google is a very hard habit to break. I’m trying to get there, slowly: I secure browse everywhere now, no history tracking (or saved passwords, which sucks, I have to say). I have never really used my gmail account which makes me *feel* less dependent on them but I am a heavy user of calendar and docs, sigh.

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