I killed my Facebook account today
I deactivated my Facebook account today. Here are the reasons:
- It's overwhelming. The avalanche of minutiae from my fellow human beings was too much to process.
- It's irresistible. I'd find myself checking it each morning at 5am, each night before going to bed, and during lunch each day, in lieu of actual human relationships up to and including my own wife and kids. You Social Network--er, Facebook-- guys have done your job. You've invented crack for the mind.
- It's way too easy to be a voyeur. The visual and emotional pornography available on Facebook far surpasses any romance novel or soap opera. Seriously, you can watch people hook up, argue, and witness their marriages dissolve in slow-motion. It's real-life, emblazoned and sanitized behind an online profile. For myself, that kind of drama drains me. Which leads me to...
- It dissolves actual relationships. Sure, IRC, chat rooms, AOL, and--hell--plain old love letters have done this before, but Facebook makes it too damned easy for every old-flame and crush to find you and weasel their way back into your life. Just like with internet pr0n, those relationships on FB are easy--seductive, even--and you can keep them at arms length. Real people are messy and they happen in real-time. That also makes them 10 million times more interesting than someone's online persona.
- I think Mark Zuckerburg is evil. I think Facebook is evil. As of today I finally put my money where my mouth is and fled the other way.
To a degree, I realize I've ostracized myself as of today. There is no true competitor to Facebook. Twitter, as one irreverent observer put it "is for nerds and [lose women]". Certainly, twitter's not for everyone--my Aunt Norie is a great practitioner of FaceBook, but I can't conceive of her using Twitter. On the other side of it, e-mail is dead--it's as much a chore to read and respond to email today as it once was to bang out a letter and send it via USPS. Peer-to-peer communication is via SMS, and looks to remain so into the near future, until we all kill ourselves texting while driving.
Anyway, that's the words around why I'm no longer on FB. To answer some questions:
- I don't think you're a bad person if you continue to use Facebook.
- Yes, I realize most people respond to questions about their lives with, "But, I posted that on FB...." and act offended if you haven't read it. I look forward to not being one of those people now.
- No, I'm probably not coming back. I say 'probably', because I'm old enough to know the word 'never' is naive.
- Yes, I will miss my Facebook friends. Characteristically, this morning was the most poignant expression of why I loved FB: Pictures of people's kids, funny anecdotes about their lives, lively discussion from my cousin on his latest city council meeting. I will mourn not having Facebook.
- I am still on the internet and available, both on twitter and via email.