the Internet is getting way too presumptuous

(caveat: I don't get any sleep at night so forgive any typos)

I think one of the reasons I've been away from the blog for so long is I'm tired of the Internet telling me what to do. For instance, I received an email from LinkedIn whilst on vacation, telling me that my profile photo was deleted because it violated their Terms of Service. Apparently, you can only post a picture of yourself. My photo was of my chattering teeth trademark that frankly, more people recognize about me than my actual face. LinkedIn decided what was best for me.

Likewise, Facebook. I abhor Facebook and will not resign myself to joining. When you're the most enduring female blogger in the United States (going strong in one form or another since 1995), Facebook is unnecessary. If I want to know what my friends' “status” is, I'll call them or read their blogs. If people from my past want to find me, they just have to google my name — whether firstname-maidenname or firstname-maidenname-lastname, I show up multiple times in the first page of Google results (and then there are a bunch of links to “Ice Castles”, which truly could not make me happier). But my best guy friend (the one I'm not married to), joined Facebook and now I'm getting emails that say things like “Jim Marbury added you as a friend on Facebook.” Which is fine, because I haven't spoken with Jim in many years and it would be great to hear from him, BUT, how can he add me as a friend when I DON'T HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE? Moreover, what right does Facebook have to 1) email me when I am not their client, and 2) extort membership from me (if I want to get in touch with Jim, or see his message, I have to sign up at Not to mention the fact that some of the greatest minds of our generation (and of my group of friends) are spending more time on Facebook collecting “friends” than on writing new poems, creating new artwork, reading new books, etc. Is this a good thing? I don't see how. The popularity contest of the new millennium has us all reverting back to junior-high; keeping tabs on people we didn't really like in the first place, to try to inflate our own sagging self-esteem. And yet, the acting chair of the business school at the college where I'll resume work next week wants me to teach Facebook in my Writing for the Media class. Gag me with a status update, please.

And yes, this is even spilling over in to work. iContact suspended my account. Again, the company didn't listen to me, just decided what was best and threw a brick wall in front of my face, hindering my income potential at Christmas-time (can't call people in reference to an email you just sent them if the email service won't let you send an email).

Finally, and this is hard to say, I'm even becoming disillusioned with this blog. I no longer feel like I can say anything on it — too many other personalities in my life could be pissed off or hurt by it — and if I can't say everything, it's hard for me to say anything.

I think this is all boiling down to the dumbassification of America (thank you Chuck D), which I expect to be outlining in future posts.

So, where do I go from here? I'm thinking that this might be becoming a Not Safe For Work site. I'm excited by the changes made at BSUWG (see blogroll) and think that Jim is putting forth an interesting model for Blogosphere 3.0.

And maybe then I'll take a quick break from my five jobs in order to catch 30 minutes of sleep. Good night and good luck.

7 thoughts on “the Internet is getting way too presumptuous

  1. I like Facebook. I like the little status updates. I think it's fun, and it is a nice resource for people like me who don't have as much of a web presence (you won't find me by googling my current or maiden name). It *has* helped me reconnect/stay connected with people.
    I don't think it has to be the poster child of the dumbassification of America. It is what you make of it. And as with everything, it takes exactly as much time as you want to give it.
    But by all means, don't join if you don't want to. But if you decide to be assimilated, I'd be happy to be your friend. (-:

  2. I don't think that Facebook is the poster child of the dumbassification of America; just a contributing factor. 🙂
    I'm particularly concerned by its addictive qualities. I mean, it already wants me to give it my time, and I'm not even a member. How overwhelming can it become to people who are bonafide users?
    It's like saying, “not every World of Warcraft player spends an unhealthy amount of time in the game,” which may be true, but, if it is true, then why has it become so ubiquitous?
    Ultimately, when any Internet application/Web site moves from “fun” to “necessity,” well, one should evaluate whether that's a healthy way to spend one's time.
    You think Facebook is fun, and that's great (please read that as me being truthful, not patronizing). Everyone else I've spoken with, however (of the three other people who are 1) Facebook members and 2) have spoken with me about it) has admitted that they spend too much time on Facebook, particularly *during work hours*. In light of our economic crisis, this concerns me on many, many levels.
    Slight OT: I'm officially predicting that as people hit the 15-year mark of Internet use, overall hours spent online will dwindle. One person I know recently disconnected her home Internet as she found she was spending too much time on it. I myself have cut my blog-checking by probably 5 hours/week simply by subscribing to RSS feeds (for everyone's blog except, ironically, yours :).

  3. “… I'm even becoming disillusioned with this blog. I no longer feel like I can say anything on it — too many other personalities in my life could be pissed off or hurt by it — and if I can't say everything, it's hard for me to say anything.”
    For me, “Blog 3.0” is simply to speak my heart at all times (when I have time and when I'm moved to do so), which I think could lead to some touchy situations, as you've mentioned here. However, when I think of those who will almost certainly become hurt or angry (eventually) at my adopting this, I realize that invariably their anger will be misdirected at me. In most cases, they may or may not realize that they're actually angry with themselves. Others may not like what I have to say and will fall away — which is not my intention, yet I can't deny that, in the grand scheme, it's more important to align myself with like-minded people, attracting deeper friendships than if I approached my speech with a mind toward not upsetting others. I'll admit there's some idealism here that I haven't yet fully adopted personally. But, that's what I'm moving toward.

  4. I think blogs are, by and large, weird. I have no idea why I write one, and I have no idea why I read them. I started mine so that I could stay in touch with my friends when I moved to Massachusetts and it hasn't worked at all. So, what am I writing: 'I was stuck at a red light today, doesn't that suck.' I mean it's just not that interesting. For me, the problem is, if I'm doing something interesting, then I'm not writing about it. If I have an interesting thought, it makes it into my novel or into one of my papers, or heaven forbid, a conversation with a friend. In short, I'm just not the kind of person who has a running monologue about the stuff I'm doing–which is too bad because there are people out there, I think, who would like to hear that monologue. I've thought seriously about blogs that are “about something” and those seem to be worthwhile. If my blog were, for instance, about how to survive grad school, or a 101 things you can do with melted styrofoam, I'd probably like it more. At least, the confines of the blog would edit what I put up there. As it stands, I feel like I'm writing conversation between John and Nermal in a Garfield comic strip, which is depressing because I've always thought of myself as a witty MF.
    But darling, as Mr. Motormouth, I must caution you. You're simply not me. You write things and people want to read them. You have readers and I'm sorry to say that, yes, that does mean you have to self edit a bit. That's what having an audience is about. Third unit of my composition class by the way. So, you ought to celebrate a bit more. I get Intaki to comment on my blog and that's only because they only give him 15 minutes of internet time a day in Ecuador so he hasn't followed a link.
    As for the rest of it. I don't know. As far as researching a novel goes, the internet is great. I know almost everything there is to know about designer drugs now and I don't have to buy one of those stupid jester hats.
    Monstro D. Whale

  5. I will be really sad if you stop blogging but I do like the new BSUWG page. and I agree about the pushiness of a bunch of these sites. insisted that I register in order to look at dogs that need homes! WTF – shouldn't that be something AS EASY AS POSSIBLE to do! And I agree about the friend collecting on Facebook—i joined and feel very friendless since I only have people I actually KNOW as friends. Though it helps contact since I am so far away. Skype is also good. Katherine

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