Freedom from Facebook

I did it. I no longer have an account on Facebook. I said I would delete it (see blogpost) and I have.

Originally, I planned to delete Fb some time in January. I would transfer photos and make my farewells over Christmas break. I had no idea how busy I would be so I thought I’d give myself the month of January. I started transferring some photo albums, then realised what a pain it was to transfer 100s of albums. I also spent the entire month transferring contact details from my Fb friends, which meant going through 700+ contacts to weed out the ones who weren’t my friends.

I realised by the last few days of January that I was running out of time. I didn’t want to have people think I was bluffing or to be discouraged from deleting my account. I refused to deactivate because I would only go back to it within a week or a month. I had to leave. It was time for change. So I announced that I would delete everything on Friday, 1 February.

That Friday night, however, as I was trying to download my Fb archive, I realised that it wouldn’t take 1 hour to download 6.5 years (member since 2006) worth of history from Fb. The next morning, I received an email from Fb, only to be told that my download request had been unsuccessful. I sent a million requests that Saturday but it wasn’t until that evening, just before bed, that my request went through. On Sunday, I downloaded my archive (967.7 MB) and requested Fb deletion. My account is currently deactivated but it will be permanently deleted by Sunday, 17 Feb. For your information, Fb gives you 14 days to decide if you’re 100% certain you want to leave. Well, I am certain.

My next task is to upload all my photos. I’m also, quite sadly, 3 years behind on some albums! :S

Last words: FREEDOM!


Wise words from the Dowager Countess:

Photo source: @dauphiine

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Why I am leaving Facebook

My friends probably don’t believe me when I say that I am leaving Facebook this month. But I am even though I’m still posting, liking, commenting, and messaging. If they’ve noticed anything, they’ll see that I’ve unliked many pages, deleted some photos and apps, deleted all my notes, and have removed some information.

After 6 years of Facebook, it’s time for me to take a break. I don’t like what it’s done and how it’s affecting all of us. I don’t care if people think I’m being anti-social or being backwards. Yes, there are many benefits to having Facebook. However, I’ve had time to think about friendships, connections, and communication these past few months and here are the reasons why I’m leaving.

  1. Facebook is not exclusive anymore
    At first, when I joined in 2006, FB was only open to those in unis and colleges. Pretty unfair to those who didn’t get into or chose not to go for higher education, I’ll admit. Then it was open to grads and students of secondary schools. I can’t remember when FB suddenly opened up to everyone but it really bothered me. It’s not just the creeps who tried to befriend me. Or the fact that we are forced to be ‘social’ and not exclusive (i.e. having the option not to receive anymore friend requests). I don’t feel safe and I’m upset that everyone seems to be unable to communicate in other ways.
  2. I’m getting paranoid
    Why isn’t this person liking my status? Why isn’t this person responding? Are we still friends? Why did this person unfriend me? Friendships are constantly formed and redefined but I can’t tell you how many times I felt like my life revolved around FB and suddenly I wasn’t sure about who my friends are just because of FB. Oh and temporarily deactivating FB won’t send a clear message to me that I should take a break from FB. I’ll just want to reactivate it immediately for fear of missing out on some vital information!
  3. Thinking in terms of FB
    Now I’m living my life in FB status updates. My life is narrated in FB updates – even when I am not on FB. How many likes will I get? What will people comment? How scary is that?
  4. Friends or not?
    This is my main reason. When I first got FB, it was about adding as many people as ‘friends’ as you could. That person you just met? Add. Your crush? Add. The cute person you stalked? Add. Add, add, add. Suddenly, I had hundreds of ‘friends’. I used to be very bad with the definition of friendship. I assumed all nice people were my friends. However, as mentioned earlier, friendships can change. Your once best friend forever is someone you no longer talk to. Your good friend suddenly dislikes you and you can’t figure out why. Your acquaintance from 2007 is now one of your good friends. How do we know? Based on how often someone likes or comments your post? On how much they say they have in common with you? On whether or not they have us on FB or share things with us? Are we supposed to keep everyone on FB? When do we remove people – if we don’t like them anymore?
    Sadly, at this point, I can’t remove any more people because if I do, I will only start drama. ‘Why did she keep our mutual friend and not me? What did I do? What a *****!’ These are things I don’t want to get into. Furthermore, trying to play around with the privacy settings for each ‘friend’ on my friends list is too complicated.
  5. Privacy flaws
    I think the first time I contemplated leaving FB was when I discovered that a deleted or old profile pic was still showing up on Google images. Not that I had anything to be embarrassed about but it bothered me that something deleted was not permanently deleted. Recently, I found out that cover and profile photos must be public. What if I don’t want someone to find me?
  6. Oh the drama!
    The cyber-bullying, the heated debates/discussions, and just drama in general over ‘nothing’. You’re never safe from criticism. Post an innocent cartoon you like and you’ll spark a debate. If you’re not the one getting hurt, it’s your friend who naively joined the conversation. I’m not surprised people have committed suicide over what’s happened on FB. I’ve had enough!
  7. An unhealthy addiction
    Every morning and just before I go to bed, I check FB. Not to say hi to my friends but to see what’s going on in people’s lives. To see who’s shown some love to me. Any messages? Any likes? Any comments/posts? Facebook was fun before but now, I’m paranoid (as mentioned in point 2). If I’m not on FB for one day, I’ll fall behind!

Well, what about the good things? Yes, people know there are these disadvantages, these things that no one likes. However, FB has helped keep us connected. I’ve even found people who I used to know from primary school! Plus, FB is like email-messenger/Skype-text in one! You no longer have to write letters or emails and ask people what’s going on in their lives because you can read all the status updates. No more email newsletters because that’s what FB is for. You don’t need to be logged into a million things at once – FB allows you to stay connected via ’email’, ‘Skype’, and ‘text’. Oh and FB is free so you don’t have to waste money on stamps and postcards, Skype calls, texts to those who live far away from you. Without FB, they say, it’s like you’re completely disconnected from the world.

I’ll take my chances then.

Trust me, this was a hard decision for me. As one who has relatives, family, and friends all over the world since I was little, staying connected is VERY important for me. But people don’t really email anymore. Or even Skype. My generation doesn’t call much either. Texting seems to be used for finding people or writing something so secretive that, thankfully, FB doesn’t have the privilege of being used. Maybe I’ve been able to stay connected through FB but I think it’s turned me and you and him and her into lazy people. Why the need to meet up if you’ve already seen everything (photos and updates) on FB? Why the need to call? In fact, have we become anti-social by joining this ‘social’ network?

I hope that by leaving FB, I’ll spend more time with my family, pets, and the friends near me. I hope that I’ll have more time to write in my diary. I hope that I’ll have more time to respond to emails right away. I hope that I’ll have more time to do things I’ve sacrificed doing, like reading. I hope my life will be less hectic and paranoid. If I must join FB again because other forms of communication are failing in the 21st Century, then I will open a new account – but I won’t just add anyone.

Also, dear friends, don’t panic.

I didn’t say I’m going to live as a hermit in some unknown land without internet. There’s still the old-fashioned forms of communication: letters/cards, e-mail, text, phone call, instant messaging, meeting up in person.

The question is (for all of us), are you willing to make the effort to stay connected?

Breaking Pointe renewed for S2!

ATTENTION fellow dancers!

CW’s Breaking Pointe (2012) has been renewed for Season 2!

Details on when the second season will be produced have not yet been announced. And, according to Pedowitz, the premiere date has not yet been determined.

When it does return, fans will presumably not only get to see more dancing, but see what happened between dancers Allison DeBona and Rex Tilton after they broke up … and then, apparently, called off the break-up.

Ballet West will return to TV: The CW picks up Season 2 of ‘Breaking Pointe’ – The Salt Lake Tribune

I’m certainly looking forward to more performances put on by Ballet West, as well as inspiring dance moves. 😛

Update: 22 July 2013 is the premiere of S2!

Schwangau & Füssen

We took the train in the afternoon and arrived in Füssen about 2 hours later.  Upon arrival, we went to the trouist info, then made arrangements for accom in Horn.  As we had missed our bus, we decided to walk.  It was very cold and the ground was icy, as it had already snowed.  We arrived in a charming Bavarian house in the quiet Frauenhoferstr. and were greeted warmly by the wife of the B&B owner.  She showed us around the house, asked us what we’d like to drink for breakfast, and also suggested places for dinner.  We then walked a few houses down to the (?) restaurant, where a few groups were already dining.  After the delicious meal, we decided it was too dark and late for a tour through the Füssen Altstadt, so went to sleep instead.

The next morning, we rose early to check out Schwangau, where the two Ludwig II castles were: Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.  As I’d already visited Neuschwanstein 2 Octobers ago, we visited Schloß Hohenschwangau, the summer residence of Ludwig II’s parents, and later, that of his uncle, who acted as regent for his younger brother, the mentally ill King Otto.  There were only 3 floors for public viewing: the main foyer with fireplace, altar and an armour; the 1st Fl for the queen and the 2nd for the king.  Our tour guide was very witty and sarcastic, which was, however, wasted on non-native anglophones.  Like Neuschwanstein, the walls were painted with murals depicting the Middle Ages and popular folklore, such as Tristan & Isolde, later transposed to an opera by Wagner.  It is interesting to note that the murals are in its original form, meaning that the colours are still the same as it had been in the 19th C.

Other interesting facts:

  • a lift was installed in the latter of the 19th C. for the Regent to use in his old age. It is located in the middle of the staircase and no longer in use since 1998.
  • a 200 year old Russian (from Russia) bread is on display in a case and still looks very good. It was a gift and only partly eaten.

The other building had house the princes Ludwig and Otto in their childhood.  Although there were 2 storeys, only the main floor was in use, now converted into a gift shop.  The top floor is not available to public and not much was said about the rooms there either.  A kitchen can still be seen, however, behind glass, as it would have been in the past.

After the castle tour, I bought a Bavarian hat in navy blue.  The sun was beginning to come out then so I did not wear it afterwards.  We toured all of Füssen and were awed by its medieval/rustic charm.  However, we also found out that Füssen was not spared from the bombings either, so much for its preserved beauty.
Still, it was good to see mountains, to smell the crisp air and to wander back in time.

Residenz München

While the majority of the people were protesting the Atomkraft (nuclear?), B. & I spent close to 3 hrs wandering the vast castle. Although many of the rooms had been destroyed during WWII, there were still many rooms full of art, porcelain, interior decor, furniture – whatever was saved or preserved.  Visiting all these palaces make me wonder about all the other furniture and art in the other destroyed rooms. Plain white walls are so depressing and provide such a stark contrast to the richly renovated ornate rooms. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the visit very much!

Visited: Residenz München, incl. Schatzkammer (Treasury) & Cuvilliés-Theater
Price: 8€ (students, incl. <26 y.o. with ITYC); 11€
Duration: Self-guided tour ca. 3 hrs
About: Originally a small moated castle from 1385, it gradually expanded to become the residence and seat of government for the Wittelsbach rulers (until 1918 with the end of the empire). Although many of the rooms had been destroyed during WWII, there were still plenty of rooms filled with art, porcelain, interior decor, furniture – whatever was saved or preserved.  Visiting all these palaces makes me wonder about all the other furniture and art in the other destroyed rooms. Plain white walls are so depressing and provide such a stark contrast to the richly renovated ornate rooms. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the visit very much!

Residenz: This took up 2/3 of the 3 hours spent at the residence. There were lots of rooms on display.
Schatzkammer: Treasure dating back to the 9th C. to the 19th/20th C.!
Cuvillies-Theater: Small baroque theatre; takes 5-10 min, depending on how long you like to admire interior designs.