Mashable, the social media news blog, recently highlighted how social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, etc, make it extremely difficult to leave their services and make a clean break. Easy to get into, but not so easy to get out of.
As I was reading through the various strategies and tricks these companies use to make us stay, I couldn’t help but hear echoes of the same arguments that sin (and sin’s agents) often uses when we try to extricate ourselves from its grip.
1. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
If you don’t use Twitter for a few weeks you’ll get an email saying, “We’ve missed you!” It then lists everything you’re missing!!
2. “What did I do wrong?”
You can’t leave Facebook without filling out a questionnaire which effectively makes you feel incredibly guilty about your decision. O yes, and it also lists specific friends who “will miss you.”
3. “I can change.”
MySpace tries to bargain with you, offering new ways to make you happy.
4. “I hope we can still be friends.”
Although Tumblr shows intending leavers a graphic of an anguished robot, it remains friendly and tells you that if you ever want to start things up again, just contact the network and someone will be glad to talk with you.
5. “Think about what you’re giving up.”
Google+ lists everything you’re giving up: Circles, +1s, etc., and warns you that leaving cannot be reversed. So don’t expect a reconciliation!
6. “Let’s work on this.”
LinkedIn says, “Give me another chance and let us help you get more out of your LinkedIn experience.”
7. You’re breaking my heart!”
The artist’s social media service, DeviantART actually has a demon mascot that cries devil-sized tears when you try to delete your account.
8. “Remember all the good times we had.”
Youtube reminds you that all videos, comments and your username will be deleted forever. FOREVER!
9. “You’re nothing without me.”
Klout suggests that without its help your really amount to nothing much more than a hill of beans.
10. “I’m not listening/Error message”
Orkut, popular in India and Brazil, simply doesn’t let you go. If you try to delete your account, you get an error message!
If you’re hearing sin’s bargaining, threatening, enticing, manipulating, promising, bullying voice today, remember, “If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed!”