Social Social Media Web

The Great Social Network Divorce

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For years, I toyed with deleting my Facebook, opened on Oct. 1, 2006—or thereabouts. About an hour ago, I deactivated instead. Finally! It is first, important step. I only kept the thing live this long out of sentimentality—seeing as I signed on long before most people heard of the social network—and to maintain presence for family and friends.

But time to let go is long overdue. Facebook is a plague that encourages narcissistic addiction, as people chase Likes, comments, and the such. They’re like mice in a maze clicking the food dispenser. The social network’s construction is toxically habitual.

Facebook also is a rathole for abuse, because of the information that can be mined and misused. This morning, family members started receiving texts via FB Messenger from my mother. Eh, yeah. She passed away nearly two years ago. One of my nieces responded as such, and received reply: “Jesus sent me back to you”. She reported the account, which later I couldn’t authenticate to check (but I will do).

My niece and sisters suspect hacking, but there are no posts to mom’s FB. My guess is impersonation: Someone created another account with mom’s name and profile photo, then messaged identified relatives visible from the real thing. I removed myself many months ago, when purging most of my identifying personal information from the service. That could explain my exclusion from today’s Facebook channeling the afterlife.

Regardless, impersonation is the major reason I don’t delete Facebook—the presumption being that user handles will be recycled. WordPress.com is the gold standard. Something like 15 years ago, “joewilcox.wordpress.com” was my site there; I deleted the account, which is permanent. No one, me included, can ever use that web address there again. If other Cloud services similarly acted, I would permanently purge most of my accounts—the majority created over the years for news reporting/reviewing purposes.

Mom’s messaging from the great beyond reminded me about why I had wanted to dispose of Facebook. Timing also coincides with a process underway to reduce the amount of personal information that I let services like Google disperse about me. I would have eventually disabled FB. Today’s incident broke the inertia of my procrastination.


I used Galaxy Nexus to capture the Featured Image during San Diego Comic-Con 2012. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/100 sec, 3.4mm; 2:42 p.m. PDT, July 15. The 50th anniversary SDCC starts with Preview night in 11 days. I won’t be attending; no pass.

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