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The Pinnacle of Virtual Debris !
Feb 09, 2014 11:34 AM 10881 Views
(Updated Feb 12, 2014 10:59 PM)

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Its official:-P I'm out of FB!

I joined FB in January, 2012. And in January, 2014 I closed my account. Really a case of LIFO(Last In First Out) you might say. FB was never meant for the likes of me. To be honest, I never expected great things from FB at the outset.

The rate at which FB users bombard their timelines with inspirational quotes, jokes that have done a thousand rounds(and will likely do a billion more), selfies that no one ever bothers to comment on and "Happy Anniversary Dear Wifey" kinda exhibitionism ., really reminds me of how mother Nature manufactures pollen by the billion in the hopes that at least one of them will get to a stigma. To put it crudely, FB really is the pinnacle of Virtual Debris!

There's no doubt that today FB is perhaps the best way to stay in touch with your friends, family and acquaintances. But its the "best" not because its a great site but simply becauseit has the largest subscriber base. So if you are wondering how's the girl you had a crush on when you were 12 doing, FB is likely your best bet. But the buck stops here.

Other than helping you locate and connect to someone in a pinch, the "Everyone is different. Just like everyone else(:-P)" philosophy of FB will slowly but surely make you sick with its overdose of virtual mastvrbation! This alone is the biggest reason I wont be on FB. But for the sake of argument, there are several more:-

The Lust for Personal Data - What is my phone number? What are my alternate IDs? Where did I do my schooling from? Who is my spouse? Where am I working? blah. blah.There's just no end to the personal data FB seeks from all its users. Often the reasons are just as preposterous - the best beingin the name of "security".

You could choose to ignore these requests and they'll still keep pestering you. The FB algorithms can understand the most complex of connections. What they cant(or maybe dont want to) is that if someone is loath to share info even after repeated entreaties, he must be having perfectly good/valid reasons for it.

Maybe I dont want to make my phone number/email ID available to everyone out there. Maybe I am ashamed of the organization I work for. Maybe I dont want to disclose the name of my spouse. Maybe I am not interested in "increasing" my security by sharing my mobile no. There's just no regard for privacy.

The Security Loophole - Did I say loophole?Make that Blackhole. First of all, thesecurity settings of your FB account can be extremely intricate to understand. The typical man doesn't have the time. Secondly thesecurity settings can often get reset on their own(to put it mildly), especially if you are logging in from various gadgets. But the biggest blackholes by far arethose online games/apps that "request" access to all your data whenever you innocently click on those "interesting looking" hyperlinks your friends neverfail to send you.

Someone posts a link of something like a "Birthday Wallet" requesting friends to confirm theirs DOBs and lo and behold the module soon has access to lot more details than just DOBs. Why on earth should all games/apps have access to all my contacts, SMSes, photos, videos, IDs, harddisk, etc, I fail to understand. It goes without saying that all data shared with these third-party "partners" of FB isprone to extremely high risk of abuse and often you'll notice you'd soon begin to get bombarded with spam/unsolicited mails/SMSes.

The Nailing

To be fair to FB, they require data for what they are doing - Nailing you! When one builds a "network" of friends after joining FB, the algorithms on the server use these connections to identify you, your whereabouts, your interests, your affiliations, your business and just about everything about you withan extremely high degree of accuracy.

This helps them offer those "friends suggestions" and eventually connect you to people whom you might find difficult to locate otherwise. But this often works against you and exposes you to people you'd rather stay away from.

The App Helix - If you have ever tried loading apps like Whatsapp post using the FB module on mobiles, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see that Whatsapp will extract phone numbers/profile photos of most of your "friends" on FB by default and make them available to you. Which impliesthe same thing will be happening at other end too. Your number will now be available to everyone you ever came across and many you didn't. This isrisky, especially for the ladies. The thing is every time you accept "the terms" of games/apps during installation, you are essentially compromising your personal data in a manner that's difficult to keep track of and impossible to undo.

And last but not the least . that trademark US of A BigBrotherly attitude - you dont have the right to upload this video or you cant link that song, etc .FB works on the same principle as all BigBrothers/bullies do. If you cant control the powerful/clever, take it out on the docile/gullible.

A couple of months ago I tried uploading this wonderful but trite video(uploaded here) that's been hackneyed to death on YouTube. To my surprise it got deleted within a microsecond and I got a mail from FB advising that I don't have the "Right" to upload this video although I do have the "Right" to appeal against its deletion. Of course others may post blasphemous material and still be well within their "Rights" to do so.

Thankfully, the one good thing about FB is that "separation" isn't as painful as it often tends to be at many other comparable sites. No exit interviews. No email verification. No phone confirmation. Just a simple "delete account" and a two week wait(probably they want you to make sure you realize the harakiri you are committing, given the enormity of the decision and the "void" it leaves in your virtual life:-P) and its done.

So to sum up, FB is a great place to stay in touch. As long as you are ready to bear the costs.nah correction .as long as you are first of all aware of the costs and then are ready to bear them. Remember dropping out will only curtail the loss. Collateral damage will still happen.

Its best not to get in!

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