A little over three weeks ago, I deactivated my Facebook account. No particular reason, but not the first time.
However, since my last “vacation” in 2009, a lot has changed, and not being part of the Facebook community was difficult.
There is a frightening number of applications and websites that don’t work well if you are not associated with a Facebook account. Everything seems to want to either connect or authenticate via Facebook. Strava, Spotify, and others seem somewhat “lost” if you are not connected.
My blog, Tralfaz (here, dummy) dropped by at least a third in daily viewings. The irony is that when I look in google analytics for traffic sources, Facebook is almost non-existent in sources, but the trends are clear for traffic. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook does some anonymization to deny Google any leverage from their traffic.)
I have several pages that I admin, and some of them I have a “secondary” account to log in with. It is amazing how lousy the Facebook experience is with < 10 friends.
It took a full week for the first friend to hunt me down. I was a bit surprised it took so long, but since I didn’t do a “rage quit” and announce my deactivation, I guess it is cool that some people missed me enough to try to hunt me down.
The last time I took a break, I lasted 9 months. However, this time, 3 weeks was a struggle. I am disappointed that I folded so fast, but it is a testament to how essential Facebook has become in the last 6 years. It is the principal vehicle that more than casual acquaintances use to keep in touch. It is how I talk to my siblings, and some of my friends there are far closer than any of my IRL friends I have had forever. Powerful and frightening all at the same time.