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November 15, 2018


Well put, Beth. I deleted my Facebook account on May 1 and the only thing I miss are the updates from a my cousins about what their kids are doing, but two of them are on Instagram now...

Reading the New York Times story last night kind of bore out the extreme cynicism of an essay I'd read earlier yesterday, by an old friend of mine who's become a fierce critic of social media, Rob Horning. You might appreciate this as well: https://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/magazines/broken-social-scene/

I think I disagree, not that FB is evil - of course I think it is - but that it's worse than Instagram, Google, Amazon, all the names that we don't always realise the big ones own, aspects of nearly everything we touch in our societies...

I think we need to be aware of how much energy goes into good-hearted people guilt-tripping ourselves and each other. Be thoughtful, try not to be naive, discuss but not fight.

And I still greatly miss Dave on Facebook.

There's this (via Rebecca Solnit): https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/opinion/sunday/delete-facebook-does-not-fix-problem.html?fbclid=IwAR2kF2xakfwUNqRBERZ19CiG8eurgFC4igtc-z-v1lloLinvIo1w2xK5AMU
I'm not certain that he's right, but his argument makes some sense to me.

Thanks, Dave. I don't miss you on FB because we're in touch in other ways - it was never primary for me in our relationship. So I'm glad you've managed to leave without regrets.

Jean, I hear you, and I'm very sorry if what I wrote felt like guilt-tripping; it was meant mroe as soul-searching, and questioning how we can connect in better ways, and how we can hold these giant companies responsible to higher ideals. I read the link you sent and I think the author makes some totally valid points, as do you -- nothing we touch is free of the problems of capitalism, and I don't want to go live off the grid somewhere, rubbing sticks together -- I want to live in this world, together with modern society. Perhaps what we need most are ways to talk about this without making each other feel worse, since I think most of us are on the same basic page. Thanks for writing and for sending that article.

Deleting a FB account is not a useless gesture; Zuckerberg and FB execs see that that millions had de-activated. The stock price has fallen.

Perhaps a new social media platform will arise, which will charge people to post, and protect their information. People were willfully blind; did they really think all that infrastructure was "free"?

I too am in that dilemma, because FB is where my family and far-flung friends post photos and news. I do not want to request they send me the same material by e-mail.

I have fiends and colleagues who go to great lengths and some expense to achieve Internet privacy; my strategy is to realize there is no privacy there, and act accordingly.

Four or five years ago I created an FB account, perhaps for commercial reasons (publicising my books?) I can't remember. Then I opened it and the faces of people I didn't want to know slid past in ghastly parade. I shuddered at the prospect and closed the account. Twenty minutes start to finish. If this were fiction I'd have curled up foetally and composed a sonnet. As it was I shuddered again and probably played a round of Solitaire.

I find Facebook is a way to keep up with certain of my friends whom I would lose all connection to otherwise, as an almost endless source of curated news from the left, and of over-the-top memes on the right. The last I think of as a guide to things my less liberal friends would never say to me in person, and I ignore them except to remonstrate, very occasionally, when one is out-of-this-world offensive. A high school classmate I remember for her rather blunt assessments of people classifies the things I do post as "a quirky humor" thing, which is fair enough. I try not to overdo it.

I suppose the issue is that Facebook is so ubiquitous as a friend of mine said when we discussed this. I post the links to my blog posts as well as about my book and my services on a number of pages on it as well as on LinkedIn and Women Only Connected. I know that there are other platforms out there, but I have enough trouble making myself post at all. I try to be on them only once or twice a week - too much time suck otherwise. And, that's how I keep in touch with some relatives and friends. I agree that I'm not sure the other platforms are any better.

I don't pay for ads on FB, so at least I'm not helping fund their shenanigans directly. I have ad blocker on so I don't see most of the ads either.

It is a bit of a dilemma but I don't see closing my account as something that I can do at this time, unless there's another platform out there that will help me with all of this.

Go on, delete the FB account. I opened one to see what my 91 year old cousin was posting thousands of miles away but we can keep in touch by email so i am going to close mine. I loathe FB - it's ghastly aesthetics and confusing layout - and I live in fear I'll get linked to people who are firmly in my past :-/.

Kia Ora Beth,
I de-activated my account in early October. I was surprised to be notified by a friend that my profile is now back. I didn't realise that FB now re-activates profiles after 7 days. I too,have family and friends back in the states I need to stay in contact with, or be able to be contacted by. I have been amazed at how the little chunks of time I wasted on FB add up to constructively doing other things with real people. I'm just going to keep writing on my blog. Kia Kaha e hoa.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.