Why I don’t Facebook

Nobody cares
Now that’s out of the way…

I actually do have an account
It’s just not in my legal name. I registered to provide a window onto the landscape, and to keep track of family. Which is what they all say, I know.

It’s like a blog, but worse
Just what the world needed: a universal template, with an overlord.

Founder and policies
These are the main reasons. We have wildly different mission statements. His is to hoover up personal information and commodify it, packaged neatly for big brothers. Mine is to use my powers, such as they are, for good.

ingsoc1
Though as The Register put it, State surveillance? We’ll do it ourselves, thanks. Image credit unknown.

It’s a “weirdly limited vehicle for human expression,”
as Ben Zimmer wrote in The Rise of the Zuckerverb. “The Timeline, Zuckerberg submits, is nothing less than The Story of Your Life… Stitching together simple declarative statements into an autobiographical timeline creates a pale simulacrum of personal story-telling, no matter how much Facebook presents it as a way to tell your story… This is what happens when language is optimized for social data-mining rather than natural communication.” I’m not wholly convinced by the arguments – you’ve got a keyboard, you can still use it to break out of the desired story arcs. I do feel that while Facebook facilitates communication, it is mostly a conduit for conformity.

Memes
Mark my words: the sharing of relentlessly uplifting platitudes will be the end of us all.

Like
FB may not have invented liking, but it took it to a new level of inanity if only because of its size. Everybody likes to be liked. Do we really need this stat in our lives?

I’ve got enough mouths to feed
With 3 blogs and a Twitter account which I sometimes use as a phone booth, trying to stuff as much into a tweet as is humanly possible (see some of my days in history), I risk attenuation.

feeding

Status update: Feed me Seymour. Or whatever your name is.

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