Yesterday I got on the treadmill and discovered that the battery on my iPod was almost drained. There’s a little dock thingy on the treadmill I never used but I plugged the iPod into it this time. I went about my workout and as I unplugged the now charged up iPod there was a message that my workout was recorded and I could upload it to Nike.com. Sigh.
I patched the iPod into my computer and sure enough a couple clicks brought me to Nike to record my workout. Of course, I was told to enter my information and create an account. Yeah. I unplugged the iPod.
I’m pretty much a curmudgeon when it comes to posting personal information on the Internet. Some of it is just common sense. You don’t post on Facebook that you’re leaving for vacation, or leave you phone number up for everyone to see. I have some friends who are less than web savvy who will post anything and everything on the web, not to mention believe anything they see out there. But even on this blog, I am pretty cagey about what I release. I never write the real names of the people I write about, I never say we’re leaving town, and it’s pretty rare that I even name the city we live in.
I use Facebook quite a bit but it gets tiring. It is quite useful for staying in touch with distant friends and family, exchanging things one thinks are profound or funny. But there is so much of it that is worthless. I don’t want to play time-burning games, I don’t want to keep track of all the people who are “poking” me, and I really don’t want to know that you are standing in line for an over-priced cup of latte. I have friends who “like” everything on Facebook, especially the stores and products they use. And that’s really where places like Facebook or LinkedIn make money, selling aggregate data. You might think it’s a great resource but really, you’re getting played. And I really hate getting played.
A member of the family just deleted everything off Facebook and while I get the sentiment we won’t be doing that. We’ve got too many friends and family scattered all over, from Sweden to San Jose. But we both limit the amount of information anyone can easily find out about us.
So I will continue to telling marketers and advertisers to get off my lawn. No, you don’t get my email address and certainly not my phone number. I thank the gods in Cupertino that my iPhone can now block callers instead of having to go through the carrier. If I want to buy something, I’ll buy it. But until then, I really don’t want to hear from anyone and everyone. I’m past the halfway point of my life and time isn’t getting longer. I don’t have time to waste.
This has been Jerol is a Grumpy Old Man and Get Off My Lawn Rant #78. Transcripts may be ordered from your NPR station.