Friday, August 19, 2011

Stepping out of the Matrix: Deleting Facebook

I am becoming more and more aware of the dangers regarding the internet and social media. Facebook now owns the rights to all of your pictures and information no matter if you cancel your service with them or not. It is a lot like spying on someone's life too, as most social media. Even if you are not friends with someone on Facebook, you can still know a friend of someone who is connected to a person you want to follow, ease-drop, and pretty much gather information. 

Pugil match FRG (family readiness group) fundraiser
Fort Drum, NY
Very early this morning, a friend of mine today deleted his Facebook and texted me saying, "Hey, didn't delete you on purpose. Just wanted to delete my Facebook- wanted to step out of the Matrix. I want to know people in real life." I thought that was a great message. 

Later that day, I coincidentally ended up battling my own faceless and nameless cyber-spies documenting my every thought; I realized how easy our information can be used against us. Why, I just blogged about this very thing not long ago. It was about media decorum and reminding ourselves of what we can and can not say. I had no idea just how quickly I would have to remind myself of this very lesson. Things we write can be misinterpreted, tracked, and used against us. Yet, as a wise friend has advised me that often standing up for our rights, giving our own critical analysis, and standing for our belief in personal justice- is a hard, unpopular road to travel down. But, either stand by silently and let it eat you alive inside or you bring to light matters of the heart. It is a personal choice.  

I disconnected my Facebook after realizing I grew tired of having my own pugile stick match, defending words that shouldn't have been read as my Facebook was set on Private and yet invaders still found a way to sneak in. Although recently, Facebook has updated their privacy. I still decided to press "disconnect" from my Facebook account. Users have a huge responsibility on what they write. Therefore, it was best to take down my Facebook account or deal with the constant worry if what I say on this social networking site will be taken incorrectly. Until Facebook can prove that it has sufficiently improved their ability to protect ones privacy. I will not be re-activating my account any time soon. So, I heaved a heavy sigh of relief and pressed "delete." Since I needed to take responsibility for my own actions, I did just that by deciding to step away from the Facebook addiction to that Matrix- that false world.

I turned off my computer and smiled at the day I had with the people in my life. Real people, ones that I worked closely as a team to raise money for Family Readiness Group. A group that helps families of deploying and deployed soldiers at war. I watched as men, women, and soldiers all helped as a team to do simple things like pass out food and the most popular chili for their money's worth. Everyone smiled, laughed, and all treated each other like equals. In the Army, there is the highest level of team-player mentality that goes above any film set and class room I have ever been apart of. Being there, working together brought me back to that place. It erased any negative words and false accusations made by those that do not know me. Because, those that do know me know that one of my strengths is being a team player and working hard, carrying a heavy load or level of responsibility if I have to- just to ensure the goal we set out to do is achieved.

Together, we fed hungry soldiers and families and children and wives. We help break down the food table, take out the trash, and well- none of us walked away without getting our hands dirty. No one was better, no one was in a "click" everyone was, well, equal. I found today to be a new embrace of the good I know that is in me and it gave me hope. The misconception that most have with the Army or the military is that they do not blend with civilians. They are grouped together and unable to "play well" with the rest of society. This is a huge misconception. On the contrary, the military men and women and families are the most flexible people I know, myself included. Because we move a lot, we easily establish ways of re-adjusting to our new environment and set of friends quickly. But, our biggest strength is our ability to know how to work as a team. 

And all it takes is one or a few antagonists in our lives to spread character assassinations- causing a ripple effect of negative energy effecting how the rest of your world sees you. Go to the grocery store, look in the magazines, tabloids and see the number of negative stories with celebrities posted. Their faces and their stories and some that are true, but most stories are character spears, assassinations and down right non-sense. How much of their lives are effected by a couple of rumors spread? Character assassinations that basically taint so many people's views of you before ever getting to know the you that you know you are, stripped from any exaggerations, misunderstanding, and mis-characterization?

If not careful, Facebook can do this to us and yes, we have to take some responsibility for what we post. It is our fault for posting up material that may offend others. So, if this happens, perhaps you may need to do the honorable think and disconnect from your Facebook account. Because, social media can come in to our lives to only create havoc. The larger your base of followers in any circle- the harder it is to maintain or keep track. Some may want to be a viral celebrity, while others are finding that it is better to press "delete." No misunderstanding, no hurt feelings, nothing taken personal, no more misjudging friends that have crazy extra-curricular activities you do not agree with or invitations not sent to you, the hours in your day wasted. The list goes on and on. The headache is over for me.

Good bye Facebook, I will not be re-activating my account unless Facebook changes their privacy policy. I am going to film more mountain biking this weekend, spending it hiking and with friends, with my husband and my dogs in Lake Placid. I am going to enjoy my life out side of the Matrix.