Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Changes, sigh

I am a creature of habit, and I don't like change much. Changing seasons, OK. Changing clothes after going to the gym (and after a shower), OK. Changing the color of ink in my fountain pen, OK. Changing phone numbers, not so OK. Changing residences, not so OK (although I like being somewhere new, eventually). So, I am really getting sick of every single thing I use to organize my life on the interwebs changing. Now, not only do I have to adjust to the new settings on the Facebook feed, there are big changes coming for the profile in general - to make it, what? My memory? The keeper of my life events? That's the way I have heard it described. I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family in far-flung places (and to annoy people with lots of links to articles); I don't need or want it to be the keeper of my important events, memories and photos. So once again I am going to have to go through and change settings, adjust what I see in my feed and what I let others see.  Already I use it less than I used to, and I don't see a new profile changing that.

And today, the promised/threatened migration of Delicious finally occurred. For those of you who don't know, Delicious is a social bookmarking site that allows you to save links/bookmarks and tag them, so they are available on any computer you use, and so you can share them with others (if you so desire). Because I often use two or three computers in a day, I primarily use it to organize all the sites I like to visit on a regular basis, like web comics and magazines and blogs so they are always up to date, no matter which machine I am on. I don't use it to share pages and links with other people. I do that on Twitter and Facebook (which is kind of the problem, to the Delicious developers).  But, the new incarnation (which was made necessary because the original developer of Delicious was going to kill it, before another company took it over) is primarily designed to help you share links with other people, and to discover new things to read/look at that other people like. I really don't need anything else to read, and I don't particularly want to share everything I read with random strangers. Also, because the site is still in beta mode, a lot of the functions and features that I used every day are not working. The only way to sort my bookmarks is by date added. Honestly? I really don't know when I added things, and don't care. I look for something by its name (what a radical idea1). Not all the tags work correctly right now either. So, in an attempt to find something that works, I was forced to turn to my Google Bookmarks list, which I first set up when the future of Delicious was in doubt. But none of my tags carried over, so I had to go through and re-tag everything, and re-delete things I have deleted in the last few months. Which took time that I really should have been using to do something else. And I don't really like having every part of my life on Google - what if they suddenly decide (wrongly) that I am trouble and shut me out of my account? It has happened to people - their entire lives are disrupted.

Then too, Google Bookmarks really wants you to share everything with the public. What is with this need to share everything? Can't we just be by ourselves once in a while? Can't we keep the various aspects of our lives separate once in a while? I like compartments, I like organizing things to be separate that don't really belong together. I don't keep my food in the bathroom, and I don't keep my clothes in the living room. I like that I leave work behind at the end of the day, and I like that I can go to tennis and hang out with friends that don't know and don't care about what I do at work. These are things that keep me sane; it's the same online. For me, it isn't so much about privacy, although that is a valid concern; rather, I don't care about what other people do online, and cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would care what I am doing all the time. I do like to share - see all the articles I share on Twitter and Facebook, not to mention this blog - but sometimes, I like to use these tools just to make my life easier. And to do that, I don't want them to be constantly changing in ways that some faceless developer has determined will be "better."