edit (February 7): I deleted my WhatsApp already.
edit (February 8): I added links to the newer posts from Kashmir Hill in the text.
edit (February 21): I reactivated my WhatsApp again. Some contacts depend on it, I think that I can delete again but with more preparation to ready others.

See You (probably) in a month

I’ve seen your red [blue] door and I want it painted black
No colours any more, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes.

Paint It, Black. Keith Richards, Mick Jagger. (colour change by myself)



I have been considering this for awhile and when I heard the phrase “Facebook Free Friday” or “Facebook Free February”, I decided on the latter.

I actually cut back my Facebook use heavily in 2018 and went pretty much black there from around March to December. I would research to find the actual date but that would mean spending more time there. My main activity on the platform is my morning login to wish friends “happy birthday” while click through to each of them to force myself to catch up with them (again, the algorithm often does not expose them if I scroll) and perhaps post a recent blog post or other external link that I find interesting. I have resisted the “candy” of  scrolling endlessly through the feed, it just kills too much time.

There are many reasons and much to do about the way Facebook (and other companies) are shaping the thoughts of our society. Sure I enjoy being able to stay in touch with others and for many (family and friends from school) this is the only contact that I really have with them. But we must think how we use these platforms and more importantly how they are using us.


  • I won’t be logging into Facebook on a browser and have removed it from my phone. My last post in January 2019 will be this post and I should update my profile to help point people to this post I guess. Oh, I guess I could link to my user on Facebook: kenbauer.
  • Facebook Messenger removed from my phone. It appears there is no way to set an auto-reply so people will just need to figure out where I am.
  • No Instagram posts nor visits. I rather like Instagram, it is too bad that Facebook purchased that. My account over there is kenwbauer.
  • Not using WhatsApp in send mode.
  • Edit: I deleted my WhatsApp account today


This has been brewing for a long time, so I will miss some people here. List format below.

Where and How to Find Me

Honestly, those that need to find me know how to find me. But here are some ideas:

  • Well, you can find me here. Perhaps I will be posting more. You can even comment on these posts.
  • Good old-fashioned email. You either have mine or you can find it with a little effort.
  • Twitter has its own problems, but I am there as @ken_bauer. I have DMs (direct messages) turned on for all so anyone can private message me there. I like that feature since it allows my students to contact me without the need for them to follow me (and vice-versa).
    • Be sure to follow the correct Ken Bauer, not that other Ken Bauer who also is in education, tech and lives in Canada. Often people get caught in our “Ken Bauer trap” and we are able to use this meme that “Ken Bauer” created:

  • Those that need it have my phone number and I highly recommend others move to Signal for instant messaging.
  • A couple years back I created a Mastodon account on the main instance. There are many cool things about Mastodon technically and #IndieWeb speaking but we always run into the problem of a network needing a critical mass. I should be there more often than I am. You can find me there as @kenbauer (I managed to get that before Ken did but then again we can both have that handle on different Mastodon instances.
  • You can find me in person, we can meet for coffee. For my students, I choose to setup flexible “office hours” instead of a fixed schedule that often they can never make. I use this for colleagues as well and if you are on campus, you can “book Ken Bauer” with my work YouCanBook.Me page. I still have the personal YCB page but tend to use that for scheduling podcast recordings but feel free to try that.


I chose the title as the song was already in my head from a recent episode of Coverville (a bonus track, I have been a “Coverville Citizen” since 2011). Brian Ibbott is the host of this long running podcast (an award winning podcaster) and points out that the correct title has the comma in it but many covers drop the comma.

Image to Coverville Bonus Track 57: Keith Richards’ 75th Birthday Bonus

Featured Image Credit

I go to Flickr for most of my blog post images,. You can restrict your search to Creative Commons licensed images and the search is very useful. My friend Alan also built a wonderful Chrome plugin (flickr cc attribution helper) to give attribution to the image easily.

I also like that while logged in to Flickr (my account is ken_bauer there, Ken beat me again), your search shows your photos first, then those of the friends you follow and then “the rest”. This allows me to point to the work of many friends. I believe this is the first time that I am using a photo from Tom Woodward. So thanks for your excellent photography Tom! I was looking for a black door (search for door, click the black colour) and had many to choose from but settled on this one.

IMG_7050 by Tom Woodward

“IMG_7050” flickr photo by bionicteaching https://flickr.com/photos/bionicteaching/13931415653 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license



5 thoughts on “Paint It (Facebook), Black

  1. I think alto about remaining in these places (maybe just through bots) and costing them money while feeding them disinformation. Ben Grosser has some really interesting ways to fight against various aspects of these platforms without completely departing. I use the Twitter Demetrificator (even through I have trouble spelling it.).

    I do love that you used the picture. These old fashioned connections still work. :)

    1. Thanks Tom, I am digging into this more (see the #IndieWeb connection that Greg made, I linked in the comments).

      My big pain right now is WhatsApp. It is just *so* pervasive here for communication in México and I want to untangle myself from it. I believe that I can but it will take this month to train others that I am deleting that account.

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