Friday, 17 February 2012

Goodbye, Blue Sky.

I know what you're thinking. The fool who is touring India's most godforsaken places has written another post, probably moping after a 23rd peaceful February 14th. Let me assure you that albeit there was a post I wanted to write on V-Day, I missed my shot at that. So this is about something entirely different.

On February 12th, year of the lord 2012, I quit Facebook. Although I'm certain I'll be back in the crazy blue world, the battle has been won and it feels great to have defeated the system and exited the Matrix. (It's too bad I don't have Facebook to tell people how great this feels)

On Monday, my last status message on Facebook read, "Facebook, I have defeated you. Although you've made it so difficult for us to leave, I've said my goodbyes already. There's nothing you can do now: this Abhimanyu is escaping the Charkavyuh." (or something to that effect) The status hung in there only for fifteen minutes and although I'm certain it'd have gone on to become one of the great statuses of all time, gathering a hundred likes with ease, I realized that staying on FB just to see the ticker going crazy would defeat the entire point of the exercise.

Need For Change

There are days when I regret leaving the social network for it has become almost the sole way to keep in touch with all those second tier friends you love and stalk. We never lose touch with people we put in the "Close Friends" circle, with Facebook or without. What are phones for, eh? It's the people just outside the circle that we risk losing if and when we finally decide to take the leap. And then again, there are cute people of the opposite sex who're the engines of the networking site, really. Everybody lives in hope that suddenly, out-of-the-frikkin-blue, something that refuses to happen in real-life will happen in the online world, where you'll hit it off with the perfect stranger. Bah, humbug.

Well, I know quite a few couples who actually did meet of Facebook - so it's not entirely impossible... What I'm being critical off is the amount of time we invest on a virtual platform, trying to look better than we actually are. And then, there's the free time. No, actually there isn't - because Facebook eats up all your free time. Zuckerberg is a genius - he sucks up the whole world's free time and he makes money out of it.

Frankly, I'd much rather read a book or watch TV or talk on the phone than click on 'refresh'. Although it has a whole lot of benefits, the stuff you sacrifice is still disproportionately high. Over the last few years, I've completely lost the ability to read a novel in peace... Or study for a test without Facebook open on a Chrome Tab... Or sit in a bus and stare effortlessly out of the window.

It's all an overload of blue - everything I do these days. I desperately need another colour. Team India is blue, so is Chelsea... Schlumberger is a whole blue world. Facebook had to go.

How The War Was Won

One of the main regrets I have (and reason why I might come back) about quitting the habit is the fact that my blogs really won't receive as much attention any more. Well, I'm certain that I haven't lost you, reader, as yet but I'm sure it was easier when there was a link in front of you which you simply had to click. No one seeks out blogposts any more!

Facebook made it clear to me - what I'd be missing out on. In fact, it's the last line of defence and a pretty effective one at that!

The link to deactivate your FB account isn't at the most obvious of places... It's well disguised and once you get there, you will most likely be distracted by the ticker on your right. More brilliant that this though, is the fact that the link to 'Delete' your account isn't there at all! I'm quite sure it is around but it's buried somewhere deep.

So, when you click on the button, FB asks you for reasons. "Why are you quitting?" You feel so bad when you read this, you almost apologize and get right back in. The smartest aspect about it: the option buttons. The user get to choose why he/she is leaving from a list of around fifteen options. And each option has a remedy. So, if you, like me, decide to say, "I'm quitting because I'm spending too much time of Facebook", they'll give you ideas about how you can stay on FB and spend less time if you want. I'm quite sure you'll fail. But they'll win.

And finally when you get past that, they put up pictures of you with your friends. And people are waving you goodbye and Facebook says, "She will miss you" and all that rot. Again, the friends they show you won't be from the same circle - they'll be from different places. And they will often not be your closest friends - because FB knows you can keep in touch with them minus FB as well.

And then, you'll finally have the courage to press 'Exit' and FB will tell you that the only thing that you need to do in case you have a change of mind, is log-in again. But that barrier is enough for me... for a while, at least.

See you guys in a while.