It Was a Dark and Mysterious Person

“You are a dark and mysterious person.” said my friend Simon.

We were chatting on Facebook and he had mentioned how closely we had rated to one another’s tastes on the movie-rating application, Flixster. That’s when I told him I’d deleted it a few months ago: the application, my ratings, my mini-reviews, my Flixster identity. I also did the same for the iLike application (also on Facebook), which rates music. And I did the same on the Internet Movie Database: I simply removed myself (the opinions, not my professional identity).

I needed to clean house, to remove clutter, and – most importantly – to get away from being an armchair critic. There are too many people playing “expert” out there and I didn’t want to be one of them because it becomes a game of oneupmanship. This isn’t even to mention the fact that all of the Facebook applications keep information on file about you, that, while you are wittily commenting on the 2nd season of MadMen, you are becoming a company’s marketing demographic.

I wanted no part in it. I also began to feel that, the more I expressed my opinions – witty or not, bitter or not, funny or not – the smaller I felt. This is not to criticize self-expression, but rather to say that I became sensitive to the format I chose.

I’d rather bitch about things here, on my doorstep, or on Twitter, than simply be another anonymous puppy yelping on yet another movie/music/placenamehere database.

It’s also healthy to eliminate your identity from time to time, not unlike the transformational qualities of a forest fire: clearing the brush and the remnants of what is dead but still lingering.

(disclosure: I’m a Scorpio and this sort of thing comes naturally to me, and no, I have no problem saying something like “I’m a Scorpio.”)


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