Friday, February 3, 2012
On De-Coupling From the Twitterverse; DeFacebooking, Also. Too.
I signed up for Twitter several years ago thinking it would be a handy and modern way for me to keep up with some of the writers I enjoyed like Jeremy Scahill, Matt Taibbi, etc. Well, that didn't work so well. First of all, they rarely Tweeted -- well, Greenwald Tweeted ALL the time, but who has the need or the patience to wade through all his many Twitter Wars? Not me -- and most of what was being Tweeted was the equivalent of bird-doo-doo. Typically of neither import nor interest. It's a home for gossip, marketing, snark and sniping. Feh. I can get plenty of that elsewhere. Then for some reason, my computer stopped loading Tweets anyway. Oh, well. Maybe it were a "sign?" So, I didn't even look at my Twitter account/Twit-feed for years. No point to it, you see.
I resumed checking Twitter with the advent of Occupy Wall Street, because it was sometimes the only alternative for action play-by-plays when the Livestreams were on the fritz -- which was frequently in the early days. But then the Twit-feeds for the Occupations I was following pretty much devolved into the same sorts of things that had happened to all the others.
I stopped bothering with Twitter altogether; I'm still signed up, and the only thing I use it for is for login at Digby's. I think I have only ever Tweeted twice myself, just not into it all that much, I guess.
For all that time I resisted even accessing Facebook, Global Evil Soul Sucker that it is. It was simply not something I was going to do, no, no, no!
But then the Occupy came along and Facebook was almost the only way to stay in contact with the various Occupations I was involved with or following. I signed up. Blergh. I hated it, and I said so -- many others felt the same way, but what choice did we have? It was either Facebook, Twitter or nothing in the early days. Social media, babaay1! The Revolution will be Facebooked and Twittified!!@###
After a while, it was clear that Facebook hell was, if anything, a worse timesink than the Twitterverse; some of the things that were being posted were just atrocious and totally useless to Occupy with. It was often one Facebook argument, dispute, or war after another, with endless denunciations and calumnies, insults and raging online anger, at one another, not the Powers That Be. I stayed away from Facebook for a week in December, and when I opened my account again, there were more than 900 messages waiting for me, almost all of them had to do with a furious dispute between one Occupier and a selection of others.
The only things I was getting from Facebook -- apart from often inaccurate scheduling information and incessant RAGE -- were sometimes interesting (though superfluous) insights into group dynamics, and sometimes good links to interesting and informative articles and videos, which, typically, I could also find elsewhere.
A few days ago, I De-Facebooked. That's it, no more, bye-bye. I understand there is a complicated protocol to actually and forever get off Facebook, and what I did, by de-activating, doesn't really get me off their lists, but I'm not going to expend any more energy on it right now.
Since this blog is posted on Blogger and I have a YouTube account, I'm still linked in (and of course tracked) on Google everywhere I go on the Internets, but I figure somebody would be doing it if it wasn't Google, so, enh.
Most of the Occupations I'm interested in now have dynamite websites of their own so Facebooking and Tweeting @Teh Revolution is not as necessary as it once was. Information sharing has many operative parts these days, most of which can avoid the behemoth social media sites. Anti-corporatism actually insists on de-coupling in any case, something that is proving more difficulty than many expected.
We do rely on the internet and the giant corporate interests that are the providers and hosts. There's not a lot we can do about it, at least not yet.
But the relief I feel from letting go of the Twitterverse and Facebook is darned nice!
As a kind of coda on this post, "On the Media" ran an episode titled "The Facebook Show" on Thursday, but I didn't hear it -- didn't even know of it -- until the show ran on the car radio while I was driving yesterday. Talk about "Global Evil Soul Sucker," Facebook turns out to be even worse than I thought. It's a monster, I tells ya! Yet as many of those who speak out on the show recognize, Facebook is so integrated into so many people's lives now -- not to mention Twitter -- it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, for any more than the cranky fringies (oh, like me?) to decouple. "If not impossible..." Social Media is controlling us much more than we know... Listen to the show if you haven't already. It's fascinating.