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Goodbye, Facebook

I have decided to delete my facebook account.  It was an easy decision to make, yet did not go without several instances of personal reluctance to do so.

Why?  This is the question I keep getting asked by those who have a facebook account.  I'm not getting asked this question by those who don't have one.  Because, they don't know I'm deleting my account.  And, they don't care.  I look forward to being one of those people.

There is a grand myriad of reasons why I am tossing off the yoke of facebook.  I couldn't list them all if I tried, but I can list some of the top reasons that immediately come to mind.  They are, in no particular order:
  • Lack of security.
    • Facebook is a business.  They sell your information.  They always have.  And, they don't hide or apologize for this.  It's genius, really.  They have created a motive to get people to willingly profile and track themselves.  Since this information is so specific, it's very valuable for marketing.  Marketing you, that is.
  • It's not reality.
    •  What people post on facebook doesn't usually say much about them at all.  I cannot compare the time I have spent with friends with the time I have spent reading those same friends' facebook posts.  Time spent with friends is meaningful and I get to know them well.  That time is real and so is the content.  I can't say the same for facebook.
  • It's not a responsible use of my time.
    • I am married.  I am a father of three children.  I am involved in my church.  I work 50 hours a week.  I have many real friends.  I am renovating a house.  I am restoring a car.  I am coaching a soccer team.  Etc.  Etc.
    • With all that I have going on in my life, I don't have time to maintain a digital profile of myself for others' sake of "knowing" me.  Nor, do I have time to browse an endless sea of junk to spot the few tidbits of "knowing" others.
  • Define "friends"
    • Let's face it.  I'm not friends with most of my facebook's friends list.  I've even been pretty picky about whose friend requests I've accepted.  Still, if not for facebook, I wouldn't know two cents about a lot of people and those people wouldn't know two cents about me.  That's not a bad thing. 
  • I know things that I'd rather not know.
    • Some of my facebook "friends" and I have not seen eye to eye on things.  And, while it's no requirement of mine that those I associate myself with carry all my same values, I wish there were some others' soapbox speeches I hadn't been exposed to.  I wonder if I would be better friends with some people if I weren't subconsciously using my "facebook impression" of them as a screening tool.  Don't hate on me.  You do it, too.  The difference is that I'm admitting it.
  • I read that "Facebook Erodes Real Community" and I agree.
    • I know that people don't make as much of an effort to visit friends since the introduction of facebook.  Why would I see that friend I haven't seen in three years when I've seen every post of his/hers since our last visit.  What could I possibly catch up on with them since we're already "caught up".  At the very least, it stands as a seemingly valid justification to put off visiting someone.
  • What am I teaching my children?
    • Do I want my children to be on facebook?  Maybe you do and that's fine.  Use your own judgement for what's good for your children.  But, I don't know that I want mine on there being exposed to an online social world where people say and do things that they wouldn't say or do in person.  Or, maybe I would allow them to have a limited profile with some heavy monitoring.  I don't know.  But, seriously, when I think about it, I think of how heavy of a burden to parenting it will be if or when it comes up.  Maybe things like that are better left to adults.  Regardless of how I want my children to use or not use it, one thing is for sure: I can't legitimately limit or restrict it's use for my children while I have given myself no limits or restrictions.
  • At the end of my life, what total number of hours spent on facebook would satisfy me?
    • 1,000?  100?  2?  It seems that whatever the number winds up being, it isn't anything to be proud of.  I tend to think that the greater the number the greater the shame, actually.  I'm glad that I don't know how much time I've burned scrolling, commenting, and liking.  It's too late for me to have 0 in that category.  But, it's certainly not too late to stop the number dead in its tracks.
I could go on, I'm sure, but then I'd be wasting my time doing this.  Plus, my lunch hour is over.  Time to get back to work.


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