Antisocial media

February 9, 2014 § 25 Comments

My Facebook addiction is terrible. I waste hours each day reading the posts of others, commenting, and starting my own inane threads. Whether it’s at work, at home, or on the road, I constantly check my notifications, messages, timeline, and newsfeed. Why?

I don’t know. You might as well ask why people do meth or ride their bikes.

Like any good addict, I know I have a problem, and like any good addict I decided to take the bull by the horns, defeat my addiction, and take control of my life. However, addicts are not stupid, so they always begin with things that have little or nothing to do with their addiction. It’s like the drunk who throws away his stamp collection, a token sacrifice to protect him from dealing with the 800-lb. bottle of vodka in the room.

For the last few months I’ve stopped using Strava. Mind you, I was never hooked on Strava like I’m hooked on FB. For me, it was always a way to log miles and occasionally compare a “hard” ride against other fast times on the leader board of a segment. My presence on Strava has always been anemic — good placings on some segments, hardly any KOM’s, and no really big rides to impress anybody.

Worse, I never really got into the whole “check out everyone else” thing that makes Strava so popular. I’ve always known who can kick my ass and who can’t, and watching the exploits of some wanker who sets a KOM with wind assist, moto assist, teammate assist, and every other cheap trick in the book never meant anything to me; nor did those endless strings of KOM’s that people create so that they and only they can hold the title.

In other words, it was easy to kill my Strava account after letting it lie dormant for a few months … or so I thought.

When it came time to actually delete the account, I got a warning message to this effect: “This action cannot be reversed. By deleting your account you will lose all data, including KOM’s and your position on all leader boards.”

“Oh my dog!” I thought. “If I actually hit the delete button, will I still exist?”

It was like having someone threaten to remove all my DNA, or to take away my high school diploma. My past and the cycling data set that defines my existence was about to be erased. I couldn’t do it. I logged out of Strava and had a few beers, then a few more, then some dessert, then a nightcap beer, and went to bed.

The next day I woke up, grimly aware of what lay ahead. I logged onto Strava, went through the settings, and came to the delete screen. Like a Mafia hit man with his prey lying face down on the landing of the dirty apartment building, I took the equivalent of the pistol and placed it at the back of Strava’s head. Bap, bap, bap. Take that, bitch.

The next morning was Saturday. I got on my bike and had a good ride.

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