We’re all zuckers

Waiter. There’s a social media in my soup.

And in my bread. In my drink. Looking closer, even the salt cellar is contaminated. But the waiter just smiles, telling me that it’s a service. Reminding me that it’s free.

Well, I’m about to look for a better restaurant.

I’ve always felt that Facebook is a mess. Poorly structured GUI, poorly communicated functionality, and poorly respected privacy. Changing constantly. It’s just not transparent, in so many ways.

But I use it, because everyone’s there and it’s a way to keep in contact with people and have some idea of what’s happening in the lives of acquaintances and relatives.

But that’s also all I want from it. Facebook, for me, is a tool – not a way of life. Already having serious issues trying to present me with an overwhelming amount of information (mostly noise), it now wants to tie more and more external services to it. Did you know that person X listened to song Y 34 minutes ago? Thanks Facebook and Spotify! I wasn’t encumbered enough with information overload as it was.

You can no longer register a Spotify account without having a Facebook account. How bizarre is that? Spotify itself has tried to convince me to integrate it with Facebook a number of times. I don’t think it’s healthy to be on the recipient end of all this data.

Every time I log into Skype it opens “Skype Home”, showing me the latest Skype status updates from my contacts. It too wants me to connect it to Facebook, so that it can show me the Facebook stream. Why? If I want the Facebook stream I go to Facebook.

Netflix, Hulu, IMDb, Flixter and many more are currently being integrated with the big F. And this is only the beginning, of course. Facebook wants to be the center of your life.

I don’t want you to know what music I’m listening to as I write this. I don’t want you to know what I’m reading just before I go to sleep. What I watch, where I go, who I meet – it’s my private life and I have no interest to broadcast my every move to the world.

Yes, I guess I can remove a lot of the bothersome junk from Facebook. Again. But I can’t get Facebook out of Spotify or Skype.

Facehook, line and sinker: Day one

A week without Facebook. Should be simple, no?

Well, the damn site’s got me hook, line and sinker. It’s been clear to me for a long time that I waste far too much time browsing the web, reading articles, comments and Facebook updates. The general problem is the web, but Facebook is probably the site I return to more often than any other. Cutting out Zuckerbergville for a week should be interesting.

So much of the time I could spend on reading books and writing short stories and texts – and even playing games and watching movies – is wasted on the white noise of the Internet. I’m missing out. I’m missing out on good things, on things I want to do and things I want to learn.

But there are other issues as well. How does it affect us to constantly jump between nuggets of information on different websites and chat windows, and to be fed updates from Facebook and Twitter through smart phones whenever we’re out? I fear that losing the ability to focus for longer periods of time is becoming the plague of our generation.

We got the false belief that multitasking is a) efficient and b) possible.

I fear that this is having an enormous effect on us. Humans ability for longer periods of focus is not only important to perform well at work and in other arenas, but what will it do to our intellectual abilities if we lose it? If we cannot focus long enough to fully grasp a complex and demanding train of thought anymore, we become dangerous to both ourselves and the rest of civilization.

We waste so much of our lives on this crap.

The first day is almost over. So far so good. I really wanted to check Facebook this morning, but the urge seems to have died down during the day. More than a few times I’ve opened a browser to do something and instead entered the adress to Facebook, only to realize what I’m doing as the site begins to load – leading to a quick shutdown of the browser.