Get Out of My Face, Facebook!

Dear Facebook,

You intrude into my life enough already, so I do NOT want to add Places to my options. In other words, I do NOT want you and my friends to know where I am at all times.

PC World quotes Mark Zuckerman as saying that this sort of thing will be “fun.” It didn’t look as though irony entered anywhere into the statement. To Mr. Zuckerman, I say my idea of “fun” is not having everyone who has any connection with me knowing where I am at all times. My idea of fun is reading a book, having a conversation with one or two people, drinking a really good cup of coffee or a really good glass of wine, dancing at a party. Having 200 or so of my Facebook friends show up at any of these events would produce anxiety, not fun. Having my cell phone tell people that I’m there would not be fun, either.

Other problems loom. You, Facebook, have issued assurances that only one’s friends have access to the information. The ACLU seems to differ.

Even assuming that privacy “issues” are resolved, I still wouldn’t want the world to know that I was on my way to the library, or at the bookstore, or most especially to Staples or eating dinner at a restaurant. I also don’t want to spend my time posting reviews of every place I go. That’s what this blog is for, on a selective basis.

Your own hype revolted me: “[Chris Cox] envisioned a moment when a person visits San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, and their mobile device begins to glow (apparently mobile devices of the future will do a lot of glowing), and it will tell them that this was the spot where their parents shared their first kiss. It will show them pictures of that kiss, and it will share the things their friends had to say about those pictures.” Some things are better left to the imagination.

If I planned to hike the Appalachian Trail alone (hah!) – I mean that in the real way, not the Mark Sanford way – then I might want to share my whereabouts. But my guess is there aren’t enough things to sell hikers along the way (yet). And I suspect cell phone coverage might be a bit spotty around Clingman’s Dome, in the Berkshires and atop Mount Katahdin. This is not just speculation. The web site for Baxter State Park, home of Katahdin, says “Tom Tom’s a No No” because GPS systems don’t work. Thus the places that one might want to signal one’s location will probably be off limits. May it ever be so.

As I was writing this entry, Forbes raised my hopes, even as the web site was infuriating me for having the most annoying ads

All in all, I’ll keep you on my computer and visit you occasionally. Otherwise you can stick your nose in other people’s business.




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2 Responses to “Get Out of My Face, Facebook!”

  1. Dave Sailer Says:

    Thanks. Nice piece of writing. I go backpacking partly because there is no one out there trying to connect with my inner wiring, or if so, only in the old-fashioned way: chirping, squeaking, munching, splashing, or talking about the weather, where to find water, and what’s for supper.

  2. Your Brain On … « Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] place where there was no cell coverage and no internet connection echoed some of what I said in “Out of My Face, Facebook!” At least some of the scientists on the trip to the wilds of Utah agreed that unplugging is good […]

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