Content and Time

Just a brief note, because I’ve been intending to sit and write for awhile – and have even started a few blog posts – but have later realized I needed to do a lot of editing. A few years ago, a friend of mine said to me, while mired deep in daily posts to LiveJournal, that signal/noise matters.

As I’ve become a professional (ha!) in IT, I have less interest in spending my free time at a computer. Also, I find my anxiety is worse when plugged in to the constant stream of Facebook. It’s disheartening for me to realize how many people have not only jumped ship from blogging in favor of Facebook, but that they are now using the medium of Facebook to place signal, but in a way that it can’t help but be drowned out by the noise.

My friend, I think, was pointing out to me at the time I was blogging multiple times daily, that it was easy to lose track of what I was trying to say when mired in the noise that was also buzzing in my head. It’s not that I didn’t have something important to say – it was just hard to hear. I catch snippets of notes that people post on FB, but am not in a position to read them, which means that they become lost when I later have the time and want to indulge.

I’ve grown to favor human interaction over computer interaction (except when it’s in the realms of customer service at work, when computer interaction (email) is more expedient in problem solving.)

There’s my unedited thoughts. Now it’s time for work!

Privacy and Social Networks

This is something that’s been bothering me for awhile, and that I continue to struggle with. How do I maintain my real life social connections and get rid of data mining services like Facebook?

I have a handful of friends whose correspondance with me is primarily through Facebook. I can’t help but wonder if I would never hear from them if I wasn’t on there. I’m even scared to admit to myself what I would do without the constant status update stream.

What makes Facebook so evil that I want to get away is simple. Facebook cleverly gets you to willingly put your demographic information on their site. Then they encourage you to connect with friends and family. Then there’s pages to become a fan of, groups to join, and before long, the data they have simply amassed includes info on where you’ve lived, what company you keep, what you like, where you shop, and they compile this and sell it to the highest bidder.

Consider this: they also know what it takes to get you to compulsively play games. This data also has value.

I can easily find information on just about anyone I meet these days with a search of Google and Facebook. Cobbling this info together, plus some other public database searches, and I’ve got a good bio on them. I do these searches out if curiosity, and don’t use the information for personal or professional gain. Even with some information obscured, Facebook leaves a bunch of information that helps missing pieces fall into place.

My best advice to myself is to drop Facebook now, and don’t look back. I want a better answer than that. I want to have my connectivity with my anonymity.

Will I lose real friends by losing Facebook? That’s the real question.