Quitting Facebook

mood: quitter-ific
music: Josh Ritter – Folk Bloodbath

(Or, sometimes I summon the wherewithal to put an end to bad habits, just don’t expect it to become a norm.)

Some of you may have noticed that I no longer have a Facebook account. This is not an accident, I deleted it.

I’ve always been careful about the people I “friend” on Facebook. I kept the number of friends small, limited only to people that I regularly talk to in real life. I even turned down requests from family members that I never talk to, or casual friends that I know only in passing. I was proud of my small friends list, and kept the number to around 100 at any given time.

Then the whole Facebook privacy debacle hit the fan. Now, when I hear that a large corporation might not be treating the data I give it with the utmost confidentiality, my first reaction isn’t to grab my tinfoil hat and scream “THE INTERNET’S SPYING ON ME!” And in fact, the privacy thing is part of the reason why I quit. But the bigger issue is the addictive and vacuous nature of Facebook pseudo-friendships, and the insipid and pointless stream of updates – I knew that I might have lost (even more) touch with reality when started typing a status update about my breakfast cereal.

In a way, Facebook has sort of become why I always despised Twitter – nobody cares so much about your life – or mine – that they’re interested in what I’m doing at any given moment. (Link warning: language) And Facebook has become that – it’s a caricature of Real Life, and I already spend too much dang time in Cyberworld, and not nearly enough time doing the things that I love.

Of course, there is a downside to all this: the one feature of Facebook that I did find useful – the invitation system. It made it easy to keep track of the various events that my friends invite me to, and I will miss that. Ah well – sacrifices. At any rate, if I like you in Real Life you have my phone number or e-mail – and they’re not hard to find if you don’t have them.

Exit, stage left.

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