Monday, December 10, 2012

Why I Deactivated Facebook

Today I deactivated my FACEBOOK account. Before I explain why, let me give you some background about myself.

I am 67. I was one of those who were the last to be born in what is called the "silent generation." We never elected a president. We are pretty much those people they call the silent majority. Our parents went first through the worst depression this country had ever seen then had to fight a war around the world. Boomers started Jan. 1, 1946. I was born in October 1945.

While I was raised as a baby boomer, I'm not. However, in my lifetime I had seen all the wonders of the last half of the 20th Century and the wonders of the 21st. We had the first TV on our block. I remember traveling across country and realizing that Oregon, where I grew up, was very different than say Kansas or Idaho or even Ohio.

We went to the 1967 Seattle World's Fair and were told that soon we would see live broadcasts from Europe and a week before my father died at 40, we did indeed see a live broadcast.

My friends and I spent hours all night waiting and watching first the failures then the successes of our space program. I can remember the first computer I ever saw as well as the first laser at a laboratory Los Alamos in NM.

OSU was in the forefront of computers and offset printing. The DAILY OKLAHOMAN ran a colored photo on the front page of the paper every day in 1963, It was the 90's before the LOS ANGELES TIMES could say the same thing. We filled out computer cards for our classes and all my engineering friends fought to get time on the mainframe that ran 24 hours a day. My iPhone 5 probably has about a million times more capacity and power. While it took up the entire third floor the administration building it only had 9K memory.

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia the day they landed on the moon. We had just narrowly avoided being killed when the springs of the money bus we were riding in gave way and the bus went over the edge of a 50 foot embankment. We got hung up on the way down and lived to tell the tale. I had my faithful Phillips portable short wave radio with me and as we scrambled out of the doomed bus heard these words, "The Eagle has landed."

As a young father I took a Basics coding class at the local JC. I was never very good at it and when I had the chance to get an Apple Iic from friends who had purchased a newer machine, I bought it. Then I scrimped and saved to get a PowerPC 6100 the day they came out.

Yes, I am an Apple person. Coding, formatting my hard drive and all the other technical stuff is just fine for geeks. I was learning graphics and eventually had my own graphics design firm - all Apple based. We understood each other in ways I never did with PC's.

I was at MacWorld in 2007 when Steve Jobs announced the iPhone. I remember all of us staring in awe and amazement at the idea. With few exceptions, none of us thought it would work. Then the next day I heard David Pogue speak and he told us that it did work (he got to play with Jobs phone) and it would be the definitive device of the 21st century. "It will change everything." He was right.

Yup, I was in line on June 29, 2007 to get my iPhone. I was recovering from a blood clot and heart attack so had the next day to play with the phone. It was ridiculously simple to use. By Sunday I was a pro. To this day, when someone gives me a phone that is NOT an iPhone I can't use it. Its kinda like Windows, You start to stop? Or like my African kids telling me, "Teacher, I am going to come." Huh?

That is how I feel about FACEBOOK. I have never been able to work it well and while I understand the concept, I feel that Mark Zuckerberg has no business knowing about my business. Every friend, family member, my tastes and what I do, where I go is not an marketing opportunity for his company to exploit. As I read today about FACEBOOK I realized I am not alone. There is a Catch-22 going on. People are increasingly uneasy about FACEBOOK. Besides being a time sink, they too are getting increasingly leery about how their information is being packaged and sold. They want to leave but also don't want to lose contact with their friends.

I found out today that my text messages are somehow being broadcast on FACEBOOK. To remove that feature, or any feature for that matter, just about requires a geek or kid of 12. I looked at every menu and couldn't even see how this had happened or how to turn it off. There have been some heated arguments about my FACEBOOK page at home (I have an store and a blog that promotes the store and things in general) and what shows up. So, today in frustration I gave up. Its gone.

Am I alone? I would certainly like to hear from others what they think. However, don't expect me to contact you through FACEBOOK. Its back to regular old email for me.

Check out my store at There's still time for Christmas shopping and shipping!


  1. I'm 20 years your junior, and I feel the same way about Facebook. I, too, have debated whether or not FB is worthwhile. I don't really use it, except to find out what other people are up to, since that is the primary method of communication for some of the groups that I belong to. Yet, somehow, it pervades almost every other action that I choose on the internet. I post to a blog, and it shows up on FB. I shop online, and it shows up on FB. I check the sales on Ebay, and - you guessed it - it shows up on Facebook!!! Too much information about me, my habits and my family is already out there. And, quite frankly, none of it really matters to anyone else but Facebook. It's an alternate UNreality. The worst part is that I'm posting this anonymously; but it will probably still end up on Facebook!!

  2. Did you ever read Huxleys 1984. Doesn't it feel the same?

    Where's my soma?