The Voice of New Rochelle: Just Say No

The author has had it. After two years on Facebook, he is taking his life back. His smartphone will not be far behind.

I am not sure what did it. My respect for the opinions of others, no matter how far fetched, as well as the titillation of learning about what old flames, jobs and friends were doing kept me amused for awhile. But I have had it with Facebook. 

Maybe it was the insipid poems and axioms akin to “life is like a cruller, it has its twists and turns.” Or perhaps it was the endless proselytizing of animal rights activists trying to convince me that God’s other creatures are more worthwhile than people. It could have been because I was sick and tired of the endless volume of political hate and ill-informed posts about the president of the United States. Or maybe it was because of the “look at me” narcissism of so many members.  

I am really not sure. 

On top of the above, my account had been hacked at least two times, and posts made by others led to misinterpretations by some, about what I did, meant or intended about this or that thing. Even my bosses were looking at my Facebook account to see if I was up to anything subversive. And you know what? It was their right so long as I put stuff out there. Speaking of my job, a talk show host posting on Facebook about anything else but news is asking for trouble. I have family, friends and colleagues who do not need to answer for my radio opinions.  

Worst of all—maybe it is my age—but I began to feel compelled to behave as others required me to.

Let’s look at the scenarios: To really do Facebook correctly, you have to be a follower who does what the program demands of you. Update your status. Post your whereabouts. Friend this one. Un-friend that one. Set your privacy settings. Worse still, everyday the post-adolescents who live their lives like this expect you to learn the latest upgrade or method of listing data, friends, posts, news or whatever. 

No, I won’t do it. I am done. 

You know, it could be that my life’s work has affected my feelings. I had a successful executive career that was based on learning and listening, then planning, organizing and leading the business units I ran. Again, I listened and used technology, but I did it on MY best judgment. I managed my time. I decided what meetings to take or make. I managed my e-mail, phone calls and correspondence in a way that was time efficient and polite. Not according to the gospel of some computer program. 

As a broadcaster, I am both subject to and part of a culture that is trying to get us all to do things that someone else wants us to do. Buy this, eat that, join this, support the effort to save the double-spotted, two-legged spider—whatever. Women smile with orgasmic joy when they eat cereal, yogurt or do aerobic exercises. Really? Men will get the girl if they get pitifully drunk at football games and yell stupid things. Seriously?  For God’s sake, they put a button in cars as the starter now so you can pretend you are in a bleeping airplane cockpit. 

My phone is next! I am sick of butt calls, text-messaging friends who think I should get right back to them and trying to use a phone that tells me what to do, and that shuts down of its own volition. As soon as the contract is over, I will go get a flip phone that text messages. I know, I know, you think that I need a smartphone because I do news. I have a tablet for that. 

It is coming together now. I know why I opted out. With all due respect to Mark Zuckerberg, who is a legitimate genius who deserves every penny he makes, especially when I realize the social impact his invention has and can have, I prefer to live my life through me, and not through the electronic whims and wishes of others.    

Herb Platzner September 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Bob Marrone: Well said. I came to that conclusion six months ago. But how come there are only two of us.
Michael Woyton September 19, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Needless to say I am torn whether to promote this column (as I usually do) on -- wait for it! -- Facebook.
Bob Marrone September 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Thanks Herb. As you can see, even my esteemed editor is torn. BTW there are more of us than you think. Give it time. :)
Michael Woyton September 19, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I wasn't torn for very long, Bob.


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