Just in case any of you think I’ve unfriended you anwyhere, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve removed my profiles from Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus as I felt I was wasting time on them and I find some of their practices abhorrent. In particular facebook’s attempts to become the second internet which involves knowing even more about you including your music tastes and where you happen to be in geographical space at any moment in time. Not to mention facial character recognition. Just a bit too creepy for me, thanks, especially when it’s all in the name of selling advertising.
I also dislike the way twitter forces people to think in soundbites. While I admire attempts to be concise and clear in thinking, I have the feeling that complex thoughts are not well expressed in 140(?) characters and encouraging people to think like this is a definite dumbing down of our culture.
This desire to disconnect from these services occurred after a recent trip to China where most social networking services – facebook, twitter, even youtube are blocked by the Chinese government. While I don’t condone censorship in any form, I came to realise how little I need these services and how much time I waste on them. Shortly after my return, I stared reading ‘Jaron Lanier – You are not a Gadget A Manifesto’ which seemed to reinforce my decision:
“Online culture is filled to the brim with rhetoric about what the true path to a better world ought to be, and these days it‟s strongly biased toward an antihuman way of thinking.”
I may start a facebook page in the future for my Photography but I no longer want to have a public profile.