Social Networking Suicide
No, I'm not talking about accidentally sending embarrassing personal information out through a "SWYN" link in an email.
I'm talking about Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. (Now just try to get Bruce Springsteen's masterpiece "Thunder Road" out of your head!)
In case you haven't heard about it, Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, which launched in December, is an anti-social media site that lets subscribers "sign out forever" from social-networking services such as Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace.
The idea behind it? That people are spending too much time on social media sites and it's affecting the fabric of society as a whole.
"This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web 2.0 alterego," it says on its website, where you'll also see its logo, a pink hangman's noose.
Here's how it works: After logging in to the website and choosing which social network you want to be deleted from, the "Suicide Machine" servers begin walking through your targeted account, friend by friend, deleting your connections one at a time via a script.
It also changes your profile picture — to the pink noose, of course — and your password, so you can't log back on to resurrect yourself.
Until recently, the service also let you kill your Facebook account. On Jan. 5, however, Facebook blocked the site's access to its website.
"Facebook provides the ability for people who no longer want to use the site to either deactivate their account or delete it completely," Facebook said in a Jan. 5 statement. "Web 2.0 Suicide Machine collects login credentials and scrapes Facebook pages, which are violations of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. We've blocked the site's access to Facebook as is our policy for sites that violate our SRR. We're currently investigating and considering whether to take further action."
I personally think Web 2.0 Suicide Machine is not a threat to the social-networking world — either from the consumer or marketer perspective. (After all, if you want to remove yourself from a social site right now, most sites let you do so by using the end-of-account tools on the sites themselves.) Instead, I think it's really been created to send a message. And in that respect, it may be working. It got me thinking, for instance, about how much time I spend on social-networking sites — for business and pleasure— and what purpose that really serves in the long run.
Do you think you spend too much on social networking sites? Tell me about it here.