If you had suggested a week ago that I would be deactivating my Facebook tomorrow, I would have laughed heartily. And I would have been wrong to do so. I looked up my joining date on my handy-dandy timeline – I joined the site in 2004. That’s 9 years and at least a couple of lifetimes ago at this point. Slowly over those nine years, Facebook has grown into a large part of my life.
I’m not choosing to leave because I’m annoyed with privacy concerns or changes to pages to include more ads. I feel the problem for me is that not only is it the biggest time sink in my life, it has also become a proxy for truly experiencing life. It’s telling that one of the most often uttered phrases in my personal conversations is “Did you see (blank) on Facebook?” It’s an addiction, a novelty addiction, and my case is pretty terminal (though not at all atypical). Certainly by stepping away from this madness will only enhance my close personal relationships, and my productivity to boot. All for the price of not being able to see the latest witticism from George Takei (which may be the only page I’ll miss seeing regularly).
Addendum (1 day later): It is astonishing how many people I’ve told about this simply can’t believe that I’m doing this. Let alone the ones who have stated “You’ll be back.” Or the ones (most confusingly) who lament never being able to get in contact with me again when I’ve supplied them with my e-mail and Skype name. This site is that deep in our paradigm! As with everything, it seems best to figure out what actual service you get from something in exchange for what you give up for that service. I figured that I gave way too much time for too little quality interaction, so I traded for higher quality interaction with fewer people.