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Announcement of World-Shattering Proportions!

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Not so much. But I needed somewhere to put this, so here goes.

I’ve been thinking about my Internet usage for a while. This seems ridiculous, I’m sure, but hear me out.

There was a time, not so long ago, that I stuck almost religiously to Twitter, a handful of forums (Whitechapel, in particular, which was run by Warren Ellis at the time), and that was about it. I got a lot done, I thought, and really turned in some of my better school semesters. I think that was due to centralization. And being surrounded by a ton of brilliant people, many of whom have moved on to things like journalism or comics or music or photography or a little bit of all of the above. My news came from those people and RSS.

Now, I’m all over. Somethingawful, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Being pulled in so may directions means that some are naturally going to be neglected (Twitter and RSS) while some take a huge-ass chunk of my time (Facebook). So I’m whittling, as of today. Facebook will largely run dormant. There’s a few reasons, so if you’ll allow me some navel-gazing (what writing isn’t?), I’ll explain.

First, there’s a time commitment to Facebook that I’m not willing to put in anymore. While it’s arguably a good discussion platform without going to full-on forums use, the time I’m putting into those discussions is getting ludicrous. And this is with less than 200 friends. Closer to 150, really. I can’t imagine people having hundreds or thousands of people who they claim to interact with. And honestly, if I spent half the time reading and writing things I cared about than I did on random shit on Facebook, I’d have finished school and a book by now. (That’s really probably the main thrust of all this.)

Second, Facebook is only good for communicating with a select few people you already communicate with regularly. Most of you know this already, but Facebook’s News Feed algorithms hide shit you might actually want to read, but Facebook thinks it knows what you want better than you do. And that’s just silly. I agree that there needs to be some degree of filtration, but unless they’re going to give me the granularity to do it myself (and why would they?) it’s just not going to work for me.

Third, I’m tired of the advertising. Even with Adblock cutting out everything it does by default, plus several custom blocks, plus a ton of game-related crap that won’t go away, plus their stupid Liked Pages algorithms, and I’m tired of being a set of eyeballs for Facebook to make money off of. I’ve already lopped out almost all of the movie, book, and music Likes I have because I’m fucking sick of getting the same advertising day in and day out. Plus I won’t┬áhave the joy of logging in from a school computer and having the Adblock-free experience. I’ve mentioned on several occasions how I don’t understand how people without Adblock can even use the site.

Finally, a number of people I know function just fine without it. That’s not to say that I won’t check from time to time (I’m figuring either early mornings or evenings), but I won’t be on 24/7. I won’t be jumping on every comment thread I may have posted in. My interaction may not even go beyond Likes. Who knows. But, in the unlikely event that you’re concerned you won’t see much more of me, well, thanks to the aforementioned News Feed algorithms, you probably weren’t seeing that much to begin with.

If you’re truly concerned about not being able to reach me (let’s be honest, though, I’m not that important) you can get me through the following channels, which I’ll be on far more than Facebook:

Twitter: rickiep00h (Those 0’s are zeros because I’m leet that way. And if you’re all “I don’t DO Twitter,” well, imagine it’s like Facebook without the annoying distractions. Just the distractions you choose, instead of the ones you follow out of some weird devotion like “family” or “people I knew in high school but literally haven’t talked to since before graduation.” Plus the website isn’t made up of 80% adspace.)

Tumblr: rarely-important.tumblr.com (Tumblr is probably the closest you’ll get to my unfettered id. Follow if you like art, music, nerdy stuff, horrible memes, feminism, socialism, sex-positive gender politics, sex, erotica of both men and women (and some trans thrown in for good measure), and comic books. You might learn something. Or you might be offended. I’m really okay with either. But anything I’ve linked on FB probably started on Tumblr.)

Anything else: Honestly, from those two links and the link to this post, you’ve found most of my internet life. You can extrapolate from these if you really want, but you won’t find much more than that, honestly. Horrible selfies and bad choices, maybe.

If you want to contact me directly, there’s still Facebook Messaging, Twitter DMs, Tumblr asks, email (ricks dot and dot leeches at gmail dot com for personal stuff, cummings dot rick at gmail dot com if you for some reason want to discuss writing and/or business matters), and text messaging (msg one of those other comm paths for my number, because I’m taking it down from FB as soon as I remember.)

Amanda Palmer wrote in the Dresden Dolls song “Modern Moonlight” the line “God I love communicating / I just hate the shit we’re missing.” I’ve taken that to mean both we’ll never be able to hear and process everything, as well as the fact that we’re so keen on missing cues from people we’re actually communicating with. I’m hoping that in throttling my FB usage (and computer usage in general), I’ll be able to both communicate more and more effectively. We’ll see.

Addendum: Just in case you’re wondering why I’m making such a big deal out of this, I have 47 different actions from Monday in my activity log, and that was a slow day, in which I spent most of the day reading comics, hanging out with my kid, and playing Pokemon. The days when I get really embroiled in FB arguments, it gets much worse. Let’s just say I need to unplug.

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