25 February 2012 Life

Aspiring asceticist

I like minimalism.

There’s something liberating about paring life down to the essentials, shunning extraneous material goods, and taking pleasure in the simple life. Of course, the Waterloo co-op schedule makes it difficult to accumulate too much because I know I’m going to have to move all my stuff out of my place every four months.

Digital decluttering, though, is a whole different animal. There’s a similar satisfaction of accomplishment when I delete old random files on my computer, or purge my Facebook friends list. Tonight, I decided to go a bit further and deactivate my accounts on a bunch of websites that I’ve decided I can live without. Posterous, Bitly, Reddit Radio, Kobo, Stock.Xchng, Last.fm, Songkick… it’s quite a tedious job to log in, seek out the account settings page, and possibly go through the help documentation to find out how to sever ties with the website in question.

It was through this process that I realised a hidden benefit to alternate login options like Facebook Connect. Logging in to third-party websites through Facebook or Twitter makes it a lot easier to close one’s account - it’s a simple matter of going into my preferences and revoking the third-party access.

I had always avoided using Facebook Connect because I felt that I had more control and freedom by signing up to each website individually. The flipside of that is an intensely tedious process when I want to delete my accounts. It’s a trade-off, but Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so I think I’ll know how I’m going to approach Facebook Connect in the future.

Sam Nabi

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