August 1, 2015
In March I left Facebook, deleting my account and all my history, and encouraging my friends to do the same. Nearly 4 months later, I’m returning, in fact there’s a good chance you’re seeing this on Facebook. This is however not without careful thought.
I was very clear on why I left, and all of those concerns remain valid, it just turns out that the payoffs of being on Facebook (for me) seem to outweight the negetives.
I was hoping that leaving wall posts and short messages behind would result in me returning to longer form emails, spontaneous phone calls and me dropping in on people I’ve not seen in ages (and maybe the same by return), and at first it did. I sent out a big “I’m leave FB, but you can get hold of me here” email to about 300 people and I got a bunch of replies from people I’d not really talked to for ages and then… I dried up. I’ve no had, or sent, a personal email in a month.
It’s amazing given how connected and reasonably social I am, it’s amazed me how lonely I’ve found myself in the last couple of months. This is hardly because of not being on Facebook, but for those times when you’re not up to going out and meeting people because you’re running low on social juice, Facebook fills a void by giving you a zero-impact way to feel connected.
I love spending time with my friends in real life and chatting on the phone, and I make time to do both as much as possible, but life moves quickly and between work, play, commuting, time is short. Facebook is irritatingly effective.
I’ll be starting with a stand alone email address that’s not used anywhere else. Trivial but surprisingly effective given as how email addresses are used as unique identifiers. Bolt on incognito browsing (to stop session leaking) and there’s the beginnings of some semblance of a finger to Facebook. Eventually I’ll find a way to wrap up an instance of a browser in either a virtual machine or some other technique. I’ll not be installing the Android app.
Probably not, but maybe. We’ll see. I’d have never guessed that giving up a website was so hard.comments powered by Disqus