Sign Out Forever

Hendrik-Jan Grievink
January 11th 2010

An earlier post on Next Nature learned that The Good People behind Webwill provide us with a service to extend our lives on social networks after our physical death. But what if you wake up one day and realize that your physical life is too short to be spent tweeting, liking and friending people you could also hang around with in real life? What if you don’t want to be part of these social network tribes anymore? The answer: commit web 2.0 suicide!

Now there is the Suicide Machine, a website that deletes all personal information from your social networks and defriend all your contacts for you and will leave you forever disconnected from your online social networks. According to the Good People behind the Suicide Machine:

‘Everyone should have the right to disconnect. Seamless connectivity and rich social experience offered by web2.0 companies are the very antithesis of human freedom. Users are entraped in a high resolution panoptic prison without walls, accessible from anywhere in the world. We do have an healthy amount of paranoia to think that everyone should have the right to quit her 2.0-ified life by the help of automatized machines.’

Some people perceive committing suicide in real life as a selfish, even cowardish act, as the ‘easy way out’. But what to think of committing web 2.0 suicide? There certainly is something to say for living one’s live outside of social networks owned by corporations. But there is also something naïve to the whole enterprise, as the makers state:

‘Try calling some friends, take a walk in a park or buy a bottle of wine and start enjoying your real life again. Some Social Suiciders reported that their lives have improved by an approximate average of 25%. Don't worry, if you feel empty right after you committed suicide. This is a normal reaction which will slowly fade away within the first 24-72 hours.’

As if our real-life social networks aren’t completely dependent on technology like phones and cars (and winemaking!) already. Still, Suicide Machine adds to the debate around social network sites. And be it online or offline, dead or alive: we are definately going back to the tribe. Commit now!

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Arnoud van den Heuvel
Posted 13/01/2010 – 14:38

Facebook seems to have declared war to suicide machine:

Should men be able to give birth to children?

Lisa Mandemaker: Using an artificial womb could lead to more equality between sexes, but also between different family layouts. If men would be able to give birth to children, it would maybe be easier for male same-sex couples to have a child together.

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