Washington Post has an interesting profile of Katherine Losse, the author of a new inside look at Facebook.
Not long after Katherine Losse left her Silicon Valley career and moved to this West Texas town for its artsy vibe and crisp desert air, she decided to make friends the old-fashioned way, in person. So she went to her Facebook page and, with a series of keystrokes, shut it off...
She started working at Facebook in its early stage, then left a couple years ago to write a book. She had a pretty good view of things-- she worked directly under Mark Zuckerberg-- but eventually 'began comparing Facebook to the iconic 1976 Eagles song 'Hotel California,' with its haunting coda, 'You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave.'"
She deleted her Facebook account after leaving, but eventually created another one. Her decision, I think, is a nice example of how we ought to approach these services: mindfully.
Rejecting it altogether felt, to her, extreme. But she approached it this time with a new wariness, not as a place to make and maintain friendships but one where a new author could cultivate a public image.
She carefully minded the privacy controls and signed on using a browser setting that limited the ability of Web sites to track her as she surfed the Internet. She prefers to carry out conversations on the phone, by e-mail or, when possible, in person.
Along the way Losse has found a point of balance, a mix of technological connection and disconnection that, for now, suits her.
“You can’t get away from it. It’s everything. It’s everywhere,” Losse said. “The moment we’re in now is about trying to deal with all this technology rather than rejecting it, because obviously we can’t reject it entirely. We can avoid one site or another, but we can’t leave our phones at home anymore.”