When this goes live, I will have been a full week of not being on Facebook. Last Tuesday, I decided to do a drastic thing, to deactivate my Facebook account.
It isn’t the first time I had done this. Back in 2009, not long after I joined Facebook, I deactivated my profile. That time, I held out 8 months before peer pressure caused me to turn it on.
In the intervening time, it is astounding how much the web now relies on Facebook as an identity verifier, authentication path, and collector of all sorts of personal data.
I had paved the way for this for some time. By adding logins to things like Goodreads, and Strava (among many other sites where it is just easier to connect via Facebook). But it wasn’t easy. There were dozens of places where I linked my identity to Facebook.
Of course, over the last 5 years, I had built quite a cult of personality on Facebook. An outspoken atheist, with a wickedly sardonic sense of humor, I collected like minded friends. It was almost a challenge to see who could post the most outrageous things.
That said, Facebook was taking over more of my life. I probably spent 2 hours a day combing my feed, and looking for new, fun things to post. Checking email? Quickly hop over to FB. Finished a document at work? You guessed it, check Facebook.
Even standing in line for the grill at the cafeteria, using my iPhone to check Facebook.
It was an addiction, as much as coffee or nicotine. More than a habit, it was an obsession. Did my friends “like” the latest snark? What rude douchebag politician said what?
So I deactivated my account. It is sad, Facebook has on the deactivation page a list of some of your top friends, and how they will miss you. Really pouring on the pity-party.
But I didn’t go to the trouble of deleting the profile (I understand that actually deleting the profile requires you to deliver a Kidney and half your liver to Mark Zuckerberg), so I am sure I will go crawling back.
But for now I am on a break.
I am still on Twitter, so please hit me there @ganders2112 if you miss your snark.