It goes beyond the privacy issues or business practices (though you maybe terrified if you knew what some of their business practices are). It's the entire culture of FaceBook. There are friends from my past that I have on FaceBook, but that I've never spoken to, emailed or anything else. On occasion I see their name pop up in my news reader and I realize that I don't care what's happening with them.
Instead, I find that I come back to LiveJournal and miss the people who always used to post here. Long form wonderful posts that allowed their brilliance or humor or random thoughts to take form. Now these same people are on FaceBook and send out little snippets of information that contain nothing of what their old, long form posts contained.
I admit, maybe I'm getting too old for this shit, but I think that sometimes we really are too connected. iPhones, Android Phones, 3G, 4G... How connected are you?
Ten years ago I had a cell phone with an LCD screen and Snake and I was happy. I was happy when MP3 players came out so I didn't have to cart around a case of CDs to go with my diskman and I was happy when I could put all my music in one place on my computer.
But what next? Will they offer the iCam directly implanted into your eye so that the world can see what you see? Press a mole on your hand to take a picture and automatically upload it to all your social networking sites?
If you've not see the Anime Lain, I suggest you watch it. Once you see it, it will make sense as to the relevance of this topic.
There's a part of me that wants to abandon a lot of this connected shit. Do I need my iPhone? Why not just go back to a flip phone for phone calls? Honestly, I don't use the 3G features nearly enough to warrant the exorbitant price I pay every month for the service nor do I feel as though AT&T is being fair to us as customers with all the rate changes and policy changes. An iPod touch would do the same thing without the additional charge.
Don't get me wrong, I think technology has great potential. I wouldn't give up my laptop for anything in the world, but I also wouldn't add a 3G card to it. I bought an iPad, but I didn't get the 3G version.
I don't care who you are or what your feelings are on Apple, but the iPad is fucking awesome. The sheer potential it has as a device for education, business and creativity is off the charts. It is NOT something for you if you want a full OS with folders and registry items (if you're windows) or preferences (if you're mac). It is at once both completely simplistic and utterly complex all at once.
But the big reason I love it so much revolves around it's ability to be used as an educational tool. It's something you can hand to a kindergardener to help them learn basic math or reading skills and then hand the same unit to a senior in college to help keep track of notes and research materials and even take notes.
It's not a perfect device by any means, but nothing is. Everything has its flaws.
But I digress...
We don't need to be this connected. They all want you to think we have to be.
Now the flip side of this is that I'm a total Geek when it comes to gadgets. I love them, but I also don't need them.
I'm seriously considering killing my FaceBook account entirely. Wiping it off the map and providing people who are interested in keeping up with me both my physical address and phone number and my LJ account information.
I think it's time to go back to writing actual letters, to waiting until you get home to see your updates instead of trying to read them in the car, to reading books with covers and pages you have to flip, to get outside and see the world with your own eyes instead of filtered through tangled strands of the web.
Sometimes I just want to simplify.