In the next two days, I will finish the re-write on a novella that I wrote in two weeks during the summer of 2011. It’s been a long road with this book, at times unfathomably emotionally grueling. I set it aside several times. Swore I’d never re-write it, do anything with it ever again, and meant it, only to realize that if I didn’t re-write it, it was going to become a “thing.” You know? It was going to be that thing, become the monster I didn’t kill. I’m glad I decided to re-write it. I don’t know when it will be ready for publication. I am still making corrections to previous work.
In a matter of days, I will be deleting my facebook pages. When you have an author page, or a page for a business, facebook requires a fourteen day waiting period from the time you request deletion of the page, to actual deletion of the page. Once my author page deletes, I will delete my personal page as well. In the last week it seems there’s been one revelation after another as to the unscrupulous business practices of those running facebook. I find their actions to be reprehensible and unacceptable. Everyone seemed/seems to be saying, “Oh well. There’s no privacy anymore. The damage is done.” And I’m saying, “Nope.” It is arguably true that privacy is at a minimum in many ways now, that as soon as you walk out your front door, you should be of a mind that you are on camera, and so on. That doesn’t mean that what facebook has done is acceptable. It also doesn’t mean that I have to continue to participate or shovel more fuel into their machine. We have “paid” for the “free” service of facebook with our privacy. An invasion of privacy the full scope of which has likely yet to reveal itself. As I understand it, they essentially raided everyone’s contact information not only in friends lists on the site itself, but people’s personal contact information in their phones. For comparison, remember the olden days when everyone had a house phone and a paper, tabbed, address book? Facebook got everyone’s address book, among other things, and then essentially did whatever they wanted to with all that info, and intel. Repeatedly. They sold it or gave it away with an agenda in mind to manipulate us all, perpetrated in greed. Facebook has one goal, to keep everyone on facebook as much as possible so they can collect more data on each of us to sell, we are the product facebook is selling, to whomever they want. A giant hive-mind control experiment, the biggest focus group of unwitting pawn guinea pigs stuffed into an online room where they could study us in every way. In my opinion, facebook is Skynet, it is the modern version of The Tower of Babel, and it is The Matrix that has reduced every person plugged into to nothing more than a battery helping to fuel it.
I tend to be a private person, somewhat introverted, in nature. My love of words is part of that. I’m not a person who ever loved being on stage, so to speak. I don’t crave the attention of adoring throngs of people in that way. ( Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Since I quit drinking, I’ve realized how many of the times I “hammed it up” in the past had to do with over-compensating, or trying to, for the fact that I’m not an extrovert. I’ve made my own peace with that, and with years of dealing with jackasses who seemed to think I was in need of their help in some way because they didn’t think I was “outgoing” enough. ( F- off to them, btw. ) Facebook fed, and feeds, in so many ways, on weakness, or on personality flaws, on insecurities, if you will. Are we vain? Do we want to be liked? To fit in with the “group?” To belong? To get those “likes?” Facebook invited us to put our lives up on display for “approval.” At the last, how will you keep in touch with the people you only use facebook to keep in touch with? I thought that too. How did we ever manage without facebook? And yet in so many ways, facebook has become the antithesis of communication and connection. It’s become a way of keeping up with people without interacting with them, which is, in some sense, a false sense of connection. We have people in our facebook “friends” that in real life we no longer interact with, have outgrown and moved on from. When I was on Instagram, which is owned by facebook, without even thinking about it, I’d posted more than five hundred photos on that site and onto facebook. But that’s nothing. There are people who’ve posted thousands of photos, a decade’s worth. I think if you are only sharing with family and friends you actually know in your everyday life, then it is somewhat different. It’s also different if you are a public figure and what you’re sharing are essentially “press” photos. I think Instagram can be a great place for sharing art, photography. But, do people have photo albums anymore? Do they take that priceless moment they’ve just shared with all humanity and preserve it for themselves in some way? Ask yourself this… Have you ever been kicked-off, banned, from facebook for twenty-four hours or however long? What if, for some reason, facebook decided to seize your photos and personal info.? I looked at that asking myself, “Why am I doing this?” I looked at some of it and thought, “Hey, that’s a private moment from my life. Why am I doing this?” The only answer I could come up with for that was that everyone else was and I got sucked into it. That’s what facebook wanted all along, and then it became a habit. Like rolling out of bed in the morning and smoking a cigarette. ( I quit cigarettes twenty-six years ago.) How many people check their phones, social media, first thing in the morning, and last thing at night? I don’t even want to get into all the problems and unnecessary arguing that happens on facebook, the amount of discord sewn there, or that it became the birthplace of a new breed of hatemonger and an outlet for every troll looking for a screen to hide behind. The more I thought about all of these things, the more I realized I wanted to be done with facebook.
But I kept talking myself out of it. I kept looking for a better reason or an excuse not to exit the site for good. Ultimately, that has become a reason itself.
I re-upped a tumblr page. I love the way tumblr works, there is a poetry to it, a way to use images and words together in seamless stream. I knew I would. I continue to use twitter, and G+. I know G+ is collecting our data in some ways as well, however as yet they seem to be managing things somewhat better. Again, if I could instantaneously delete my author page, I’d be off facebook completely right now. I want facebook out of my life. I’m excited about not having a facebook page anymore!
I’m also excited about getting to work on the next book, and the next one, and the one after that. First things first though, to finish this one. Perhaps I will publish another book before the year is out.