Quitting Facebook

I wrote previously about The Problem With Facebook’s Latest Change.  This is a follow-up of sorts to that post.

My account is scheduled for deletion, but in the interim, I’m ruminating on the whole issue before I decide for sure.

I waffled on the decision to deactivate/delete my account.  On the one hand, I felt they were going too far in making assumptions about what the internet “should” be and what users would be okay with.  On the other hand, I know that I interact with many of my friends there.  Its use to me as a promotion platform for my writing and music careers also comes to mind.

Then I started wondering: why am I so reluctant to walk away?  That the thought of leaving bothered me made me want to leave even more.  To poke at it like a sore or loose tooth to figure out what it was and why.

It’s been a few weeks now.  Mostly I’m over the addiction part of it.  It’s nice to have one less thing to check constantly.  I’m able to keep in touch with most everyone, and even if I wasn’t able to specifically acquire alternate contact information, I’m easily found online.

If someone wants to contact me, they can.

But I don’t think they will.

Facebook (and other things like it) provide a convenient way to contact friends.  Like a catalyst in a chemical reaction, it lowers the energy required for that reaction. In this case, it lowers the barrier to actually sending your friend a hello.

Yet most of our updates aren’t even that direct.  We post quizzes and thoughts and links and perhaps get a comment or a click on a ‘like’ button, how often do we interact in a direct, meaningful way?  10% of the time?  Less?  Usually if we did, it was via direct messages anyways, which are just glorified emails.  Also, if you can’t be bothered to shoot me an email to say hello or to respond to mine, how close were we in the first place?  I found it interesting that when I went to deactivate my account, they showed me a random selection of friends and said, “Are you sure?  They’ll miss you.”  Are they counting on the group mentality, the reflex reaction of “I can’t leave my friends!” to keep me subscribed?

Besides, I think they’re wrong.  I have yet to receive one email/tweet/etc from someone on facebook to tell me that they miss seeing me on there.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be loved and all, but I’m okay with that.

What, exactly, am I leaving behind that I cannot find elsewhere?

An addiction?  A to-do (don’t have plenty of those already)?  A sense of belonging?

Ahh, I have it: I’m leaving behind all those sad cows and ducks from Farmville.

I suppose they’ll just have to fend for themselves.

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