Ma vie sans Facebook

Third attempt to close my Facebook account, and this time is for real.
The last one lasted two or thee weeks. And I  am determined to make this one the definitive one.

Day one, came and went, and so far the cyber sphere is not claiming back my presence.

Day two, still, no one has noticed, nor family, friends or wife (!). Funny enough, my oldest daughter (6) was asking me to shoot some videos with the cell phone and upload them to Facebook (first time ever), when I told her that I didn’t had a Facebook account anymore, she just say … “Oh ..well ..”.

Apart of the classic symptoms of withdrawal from any addiction, good things are more sleeping time, more writing time, and 80% less spam e-mail.

Update April 20:

Now in the two-week mark, I am reading more, writing more, and finding that lots of more people are doing the same (ditching Facebook), like when you are pregnant, or have a baby, you seem to find pregnant women or little babies everywhere.

Although not completely detox, I am still active on Twitter, WordPress and Google+, but definitely live without Facebook is better.

I was reading around the Internet, that Facebook could be a source of anxiety and even depression, and the explanation was simple, people (“your friends”) mostly post good things about themselves (vacation selfies or fun activities, parties, latest shopping, etc), projecting an unrealistic happy life. Therefore other people (“you”) start getting anxious about not being able to have this “happy life” that everyone around you seems to be having.

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Facebook buys Whatsapp for 16 billion dollars and everyone is looking for an alternative.

Out of the blue, Facebook buys Whatsapp for a lot of money.

The next thing is two days later, Whatsapp collapses world wide for several hours. Unrelated? Maybe it was just Facebook mining all the texts from your Whatsapp messages. 🙂

Now everyone is looking for an alternative, in the Internet collective mentality, Whatsapp is not independent anymore (they were some months ago … ) and everyone hates Facebook, but no one erases their account.

What are the viable alternatives, if you are looking for an “independent” messaging app that is platform agnostic?

From Codigo Espagueti (in spanish), 5 alternatives.

Telegram, Viber, WeChat, Hike, and BBM.

From The Guardian, 6 alternatives.

Line, Kik, BBM, Viber, Google Hangouts, Skype.

From Mashable, 4 alternatives.

Viber, Kik, WeChat, Tango

Would this be the redemption of Blackberry? Apparently they are asleep on the wheel.

If you are paranoid, Open Whisper Systems offers two open source (and secure) alternatives.  Red Phone (Voice) and Text Secure (Text). Both encrypt the call or the message on the phone and on-the-air.

Finnaly, The Hacker News, has a roundup of five instant messaging alternatives with encryption capabilities, Telegram, Surespot, Threema, and the above mentioned, Red Phone and Text Secure.

The next Whatsapp is whomever reaches a user critical mass, market will tell.

Over the last week I have installed two apps, Telegram and Line.

Line is a more “Facebook” like, promoting celebrities channels, and lots of paid avatars, Line in Japan, made more than 100 million dollars just selling avatars for chats, on the last quarter of 2013. They have a PC Desktop client, offer free video and audio calls, on-line games, and additions, such as Line Camera for adding decorations and stickers to your photos, Line Card, to send cards for Birthdays and other special occasions, Line Brush to draw doodles, Line Play for the games, Line tools, and even an Antivirus, and I see it as a mixture of Japan Crazy TV Games, Skype and Facebook.

Telegram, is simple and fast, with the possibility of securing communications between two users. They have gained 4 million users in the last 18 hours, and are quickly capitalizing on the vacuüm left by Whatsapp. They are open source, and it´s founder has offered 200,000 in bitcoins to whomever breaks the encryption.

The tide of public opinion (and my personal preference) seems to have shifted in Telegram’s favor.

Facebook Ads …

One of the many griefs of Facebook are the ads with poor reputation.
Most of them sell counterfeit goods, specially Canada Goose Parkas, or Luxury Watches at bargain prices, or at least that is what I see. Let’s remember it’s common practice to sniff the cookies of your browser, in order to tailor the ads, according to your previous web history.

Then, I saw this …

From my IT point of view is so wrong on so many levels.
First, someone is willing to give you for free a USB Key of 55 Gb. Even the size is suspicious, generally it goes in powers of 2, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 , etc ..

Please take note of the white colour and the Apple logo. Last time I checked Apple doesn’t give away USB memory.

Second, what are you going to do with a USB Key just recieved in the mail? Obviously plug it into the computer, and guess what, I can bet it’s infected with some malware, to make your computer part of a botnet.

And for sure, for getting the USB key, you might have to register and give personal data.

How many thousands of people make click on this? Only Facebook knows.

Sobre Twitter y Facebook …

Como dijo el genio musical Argentino, Andres Calamaro, ante la pregunta de por qué no tenia cuentas ni en Facebook ni en Twitter, el respondió:

“He superado adicciones peores.

Twitter refleja la falta de atencĂ­Ăłn de la humanidad donde las ideas son limitadas a 256 caracteres.

Facebook refleja el chisme, la aparente incesante necesidad de saber el “que dirán”.

De acuerdo, hay usos legĂ­timos de estos sitios y hasta interesantes, pero en su grán mayoria, Twitter y Facebook son formas de volver a los usuarios adictos a nuevos productos y servicios; la necesidad de estar conectados 24×7, la compra de gadgets portátiles que se pueden conectar a internet, para mantenerse permanente mente en contacto; IPhones, Androids, IPads, Blackberries, etc.  son solamente medios para mantener la adicciĂłn.

Ahora, cual es el verdadero negocio de estos dos servicios?  Establecer patrones de consumidores, en un gigantesco Focus Group,  la gente compra un producto, y “sigue” virtualmente la marca por internet, la marca puede enviar noticias y promociones, pero al mismo tiempo establece el perfil de quien es su consumidor, que hace, que otros productos le gustan, etc.  Es el sueño hĂşmedo de todo mercaderista.

Om Mani Padme Hum