It took several weeks of planning. I am not an impulsive person by any means, but today, I threw the kill switch on my Facebook account. The end.
Facebook thinks this is a horrible decision and that it should not be taken lightly and they, in fairness, give you – the half-crazy lunatic who thinks deletion is an option – 14 days to change your mind.
I don’t want to change my mind. I want Facebook out of my life.
“What about your friends? Your family? How will you ever keep in contact with them now?”
Answer: I’ll manage, thanks.
Here’s why I did it: Facebook was becoming too important to my daily interaction with the world. I couldn’t escape it; from the non-stop media infatuation with using it as their primary journalism tool down to the habitual finger-fussing, buggy iPhone app that trained me like a rat in a maze to pop open the app within an hour of my morning alarm going off to one of the last things I did before going to bed. It was always there. That, combined with my incessant hatred for feeling tied to some platform that dictated the terms of my own personal data privacy, made the choice clear.
And another thing: There were about four people from my past that I really wished were on Facebook and they just weren’t! That’s some pretty high odds when you think about it. Who isn’t on Facebook right? And here it is, 6 years on this thing and four friends I truly wanted to be on Facebook had elected to just never join! It was a constant nagging thought; “How could they not be on Facebook?”, I wondered.
The truth is, I actually ranted about Facebook in this post here and when I re-read it just now, I still feel the same way: Facebook forces all of your ‘friend’ interactions into one bucket and it became a management headache to organize everyone into silos of ‘Lists’ that you could then selectively read or post updates to. That contributed to Facebook eating up even more of my time and, consequently, making my dissatisfaction with it all that more intense. There were times when I found myself mindlessly looking through photos of people I didn’t even know, clicking the next button and piecing together a fictional narrative of who these people might be and how, at some strange level, they related back – in whatever tenuous way – to someone I might know. Or sorta knew. Whatever. When I caught myself in this trance I shook myself back to reality, realizing that I had just literally wasted an hour or more of my life on something I could not care less about. That feeling of time loss begun to make me physically nauseous and I could not, at all, understand why I just couldn’t ignore Facebook and walk away from it for a few days or weeks as others seemed able to do.
I was left with no other alternative than to cut the mainline and move on and once I made this decision I had to go through with it.
I have an entire office and studio full of interesting projects and ideas I am currently working on along with online classes I am taking for fun (and profit!) and Facebook was standing in my way. It was like an anchor to my past that I just couldn’t get unstuck and it was affecting me negatively. I felt it. I understood it. I know my own limitations and I fixed it.
Note: If you are one of my real life friends and are reading this please know that I love you and that my decision to blow my own Facebook head off was not your fault nor were you to blame. It wasn’t you; it was me. Whatever.
UPDATE 02-11-2013: It’s been two weeks since I requested the deletion and it appears, as of today, that the process is complete. I must report that I have not missed Facebook one bit. My productivity is up, my social networking anxiety is down, and Facebook Connect, Facebook Beacon, Facebook Social Graph, Facebook Conversion Tracking and Facebook Social Plugins are entirely irrelevant to me and can not phone home to the mothership with my personal Facebook data any longer. Or can they? (to be continued…)