Monday, February 28, 2011

Social Media Suicide

There is now a website called, "Web 2.0 Suicide Machine," with the slogan, "Meet Your Real Neighbours Again!"
The website helps you delete all of your social media profiles, delete all your "friends" on social media and, "do away with your Web2.0 alter-ego." Instead of the term "delete," the Suicide Machine uses the word "kill" synonymously. Kill your friends. Kill your profile. Cheery, eh? The noose logo really tops it off.

How It Works
You click the social media platform you want to delete. In a form on the homepage you will enter your username and password information. The website will let you watch as your profile is slowly "killed." They delete your profile information, your photos, your friends, one by one. By using the website the site claims it will only take 52 minutes (based on a 1,000 friend Facebook) versus the 9 hours and 35 minutes it would take to delete it piece by piece manually.   

Anti-Social VS Pro-Social
While it's quite clever to create a site like this to promote pro-social behavior, the morbid angle they took doesn't sit right with me. Also, I do think that social media can be a good thing! Of course it's terrible when people let it take over their lives, but the complete absence of social media could lead to missed professional opportunities and social ostracism.

How did I even find out about this website? Social media. Social media allows users to share news articles, blogs, and websites instantly, and sharing information is not a bad thing. This site is sending a great message, but in this society people need to get to know friends on and off the screen. You can learn a lot about a person by what links and thoughts they share on the Facebook and Twitter that you might not otherwise see. People who can't handle social media and let it consume their day to day activities have other psychological issues. It's unfair to solely blame social media for the problems people have. Some people are crazy, social media or no social media.

Facebook Fights Back
Thought only about 900 people have left social media via Social Suicide since December, Facebook decided to fight back by blocking the IP address. The process, which involved submitted login information to the site, is in violations of the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities of Facebook. It may be only a matter of time until other sites like Twitter and LinkedIn follow suit.

Personally, I find this website unsettling and slightly sadistic. Here is an excerpt from the site's FAQ:
If I start killing my 2.0-self, can I stop the process?
No!

If I start killing my 2.0-self, can YOU stop the process?
No!

Anyone else beginning to feel uneasy? Watch the following video to get a better idea of what the website is all about. 


web 2.0 suicide machine - untwitter from moddr_ on Vimeo.

SOURCES:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/jan/04/facebook-social-media-suicide-machine
http://suicidemachine.org/

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you - wholeheartedly! While getting rid of many social media outlets may help some people, this morbid twist is extremely disturbing. As if we aren't already inundated with news of people committing suicide, we now have something to watch our social media self commit suicide? I just can't get over this....I'd never heard of it, but thank you so much for sharing! You've made me even more aware of things like this!

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  2. I'm still disturbed by it, really. I've told several people about it now, and half are intrigued while half have our reaction.

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