Facebook Is The 21st Century's Hotel California

by LAUREN BELSKI · February 12, 2008


We all love our internet communities. They let us keep up on our favorite band's amazing loft show next Friday night, or obsessively review that guy from our class's profile that we haven't seen in years but that's been to the same bar as us in Key West. These communities are like house parties. You want to see what they're all about, you just don’t want to hang out too long. Friendster, MySpace, and now Facebook. They are fun for a while, but sometimes they get old, fast, and dismantling your account feels liberating, in the, “I don’t need a one dimensional advertisement of myself to meet people” way, or the “I have plenty of friends in real life, without the pictures of me in big sunglasses” sense. But hold on just a second...Getting out might be harder than you think according to the popular article in the Times yesterday titled "How Sticky Is Membership on Facebook? Just Try Breaking Free." As stated in the article,

“While the Web site offers users the option to deactivate their accounts, Facebook servers keep copies of the information in those accounts indefinitely.”

Their logic? You’ve probably made a hasty decision. A few days off the ole “clickity clacker” (my grandma’s term for computer) and you’ll be jonesin’ for some new profiles, and the only way to get your fix will be to resurrect your Facebook account. Hmm. Maybe. But still, the whole inability to erase stupid pictures I may or may not have posted during my free-spirited college days may or may not be a problem should employers decide to do an internet “background” check. No, sir, that is a vacuum cleaner. Not a bong. Anyway, I think Nipon Das, who was consulted for the NY Times article said it best, “It’s like the Hotel California. You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.” Ha, ha. ha?