Monday, May 05, 2008

Network Suicide?

Back in the day when social networking first kicked off and the invites started rolling into my inbox, I resisted at first as I'd never really made any inroads with my original network of choice, Friendster after they kept freezing my account for no apparent reason. However, the numbers building in my inbox slowly started to mount to levels I couldn't ignore and gradually, my resolve crumbled. I hold my hands up and admit that I signed up to Bebo, WAYN and Myspace in the first wave of those networks popularity.

My interest in Bebo and WAYN didn't last more than a few weeks past the initial sign up date but I kept up with Myspace as my friends and I were dotted around the country/world at university. However, even that pissed me off. Once everyone found Myspace profile editting sites that generated the HTML for you, even the most special of individuals had all manner of flashing, sparkly .gifs and moving backgrounds. It meant everytime I clicked through to one of these amazing pieces of java abuse, my computer would freeze and die, often taking the essay I should've been working on with it.

Then, I found Facebook, the great leveller. Everyone was gradually signing up as they were more towards the end of their university time as it was, at the time, an institution only networking site, meaning that there was less awful grammar, no silly backgrounds and a distinct lack of ~*~StIcKy CaPs~*~ [shudder]. Thank the lord.

I quickly switched to Facebook, occasionally logging into my Myspace but not really using it and forgot all about Bebo and WAYN. Tonight, I went to check my email and to my annoyance, I noticed that the WAYN messages I had set a filter to ignore had started creeping through. Deciding enough is enough, I logged into my account and headed for settings, determined to end it once and for all.

But I couldn't. My little pointy arrow hovered over the button but I couldn't click. I have friends who in the heat of the moment have committed Facebook suicide, only to come back a few days later. Would I do the same? I admit that the word IRREVERSIBLE in red capitals that freaks me out a little, praying on my insecurities. There is no going back What will I miss out on? I haven't given a shit for two years but when it comes to actually clicking and deleting a piece of myself from cyberspace, it's enough to give me a case of web anxiety.



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