Editorial: (No) Escaping Facebook

The rabbit hole of rabbit holes

To me, there’s something creepy about Facebook. The guy who built it wants me to post my pictures and daily diaries, my life, to his site. I don’t own this content, he does. In fact, he sells it to advertisers. I don’t get a dime.

Publicly announcing he’ll give away all his (my) money, he raked in worldwide credit for his magnanimous decision, but last I checked he is still sitting on it. He wows to give free internet to the poor, but will choose what they surf.

The platform is built like a popularity contest, won by the vain and predictable. It’s sort of a hostage situation; If I don’t conform I risk to be shamed or at least not liked, right before my family and everyone I know.

The social soapbox constantly pokes me with silliness, on all my devices, like a religious sect never leaving me alone while tracing every step I take.

Me, I’m particular to choose the wells I drink from. I restrict the time I spend on entertainment and gossip. Most of my day goes to learning and building things.

So I’ve just stayed out from Facebook.

Last week however I got another friend request straight to my computer, even though I have deactivated all alerts. Guess FB did another reset without asking me.

I didn’t want people to take it personally that I’m never there to accept them/chat so I simply deleted the whole account.

I must admit it felt a bit scary. Sort of like getting wiped out from planet Earth.

“Are you sure?” the website insisted, “this action can’t be undone.”

Beyond sure; I was overjoyed how easy it was and informed Tom.

He has tried for 6 months already to close his account. Falling into a bottomless rabbit hole of repeated requests for picture ID and various papers; his is a Kafka march around endless corridors with no one to talk to.

Of course he needed none of it when he registered, 10 years ago, as one of the earliest users.

My joy was short lived. Remember a few years ago when it was so easy to sign up everywhere with FB? I should have known there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Less than one week after my exodus, I was back. In my mailbox, the screenshot attached to this story. Welcome back to Facebook. It’s like a haunted story from Alcatraz.

If I had time I’d take him to court. There is no shortage of emperors in Silicon Valley but to me, Zuckerberg is Caligula.

If you need to reach me, posting to FB will go into thin air. Email me.