Not Exactly Civil Disobedience

You’ve seen these snarky pict-o-grams go up every Friday but I don’t think I ever explained why I answered all these questions. Maybe I did. I can’t remember. If you’ve already heard this, feel free to go watch cute baby animal videos. If not, I did this to be a bitch. I admit it. These questions are from Facebook. I answered over a hundred of them back in December so that Facebook would stop pressuring me make friends. It worked for a while but Facebook’s counter-intelligence adjusted.

Photo Dec 17, 4 30 03 PM

I broke up with Facebook many moons ago. You’ve read all the reasons why. Life is better without Facebook. I enjoy better wellness without Facebook. After a length of time went by I resorted to re-opening a non-personal account because too many organizations stopped updating their websites with scheduling information and instead defaulted to “all updates and schedule changes will be posted on Facebook.” Some local businesses don’t even bother building a website anymore; they just rely upon a Facebook page. If you try to repeatedly view public pages on FB without an account you eventually get half the screen blocked out with demands to log in. Try it enough times from the same IP address and FB will freeze the page until you log in. I created an account strictly for the purposes of logging in.

Facebook couldn’t stand it that I wouldn’t make friends. Every time I logged in I got hammered with pressure to add friends. Eventually FB began freezing my own page and refusing to let me advance until I added friends. I’d have to log out and log back in over and over to get past the MUST MAKE FRIENDS barricade. So I tried to outsmart FB by interacting with the site without making friends. I followed a few non-profits and such without liking them. That worked for a while but FB soon resumed slowing or restricting my progress again. I tried slapping up some landscape photos with no text. That worked for a while as well but then FB returned to whiting out the entire damn screen with a terse message that to improve my FB experience I must add friends. So I added one. Just one. FB was happy for about eleven days until it returned to bullying me again. I held out.

One day in December I was trying to check the schedule for a local theater (stage not movies) on FB. I got stonewalled again so I began casting about for another tactic. I found the questions under the profile section. I knew without being told that the point of these questions was to glean intel with which to show me advertisements and fill my feed with curated content based upon whatever psychological information my answers provided. So I tried to answer them in a way that would pollute the formula. Skew the data. I answered them all; every single question — well over a hundred of them — hoping I could ensure FB wouldn’t know what to think or what to do about me and would maybe then leave me alone. I answered until there were no more questions left.

My ruse was mildly successful. FB’s efforts to claim my soul and impregnate my mind slowed down significantly. They haven’t completely disappeared but it was enough to make usage of the platform manageable again. I assume the Russians decided I was more trouble than I was worth and moved on to easier prey. Perhaps I have demonstrated that I am not the target demographic. I’ve been posting the questions here one at a time just for fun. I haven’t gone back to see if there are any new questions available since December because I figure I don’t need to poke the bear. But I did download all the questions I answered so that whomever mines my data isn’t the only entity in possession of it. I hope it remains of no use whatsoever.

— Mercy

 

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