Today, Nov 6th 2012, I started the process to delete my Facebook account. Sure, part of the reason is I'm just not into reading the gloating from my (former) Facebook Friends* (FF) after the election. I don't see what the country is thinking and while I love living in Portland, the people I grew up around (the majority of my FFs) just don't share my opinions.
Sour grapes? Sure, why not? Enjoy next year's taxes those who pay them.
The election was really just the tipping point for me. I mean, what do I need Facebook for when I'm never on it? I'll go months at a time without even checking it. I'd say for the last five years I'd only get on if I received a message and got an alert on my phone via email. That's like a third-tier connection to it at best.
So what about my FFs? To keep it simple we'll just assume that when I use the acronym FF, I'm talking about Facebook Friends who aren't family members, as I have other reasons to stay in contact with them.
Well what about them? Most are either from high school or my time in the Army. Neither of which were really good times for me. High school was a waste of time (an inefficient one at that), and while the Army went a long way toward making me a better person overall, the experience wasn't fantastic.
I don't spend any time with my FFs. The friends I do spend time with don't fit into that category, even if they were also on my friends list, seeing as they're not just friends from Facebook. If any of them really want to get ahold of me, rather than just making pictures show up on my timeline, they can find a way through some other means.
Another point worth mentioning is with how many FFs do I share even a single interest? Aside from the stuff that's applicable to pretty much everyone (jokes, cat pics, etc), I don't think I have all that much in common with the majority of my FFs. Granted, I don't spend much time on Facebook, but I'll take a scroll through the news feed to see what people are up to in the event I get a message from someone. What I see from most of it is stuff that has nothing at all to do with me. Pictures from FFs' hobbies and events rarely trigger any kind of response besides "bleh, whatever".
Now here's where things get tricky...
I used to have at least something in common with everyone on my friends' list. But then we grew up and grew apart. Most of my high school FFs were involved in theater, which I sort of took part in (not really at Clackamas, didn't get any respect until I went to David Douglas for a single semester and got a lead role), and what I had in common with my Army FFs is obvious. But I don't act anymore, only sing for myself, almost never dance, and above all I'm not in the Army. So without anything in common, what's the point of keeping in contact?
Yeah, I know, the experience isn't just what happened, but also with whom you experienced it. But if maintaining my Facebook account is for that reason (as I rarely have any contact with my FFs), then it's just a glorified scrapbook. But one filled not with snapshots of events, but people and all the weird history and emotions tied up with them. And when the majority of those people are from times in my life I'm not particularly fond of, then I question the point of the whole thing.
Sure it'd be fine to just let the account sit there, but that would give the appearance of me being a part of a community to which I don't feel any sense of belonging.
So I started the process of deleting my Facebook account. It's not a one/two/three button and done kind of thing. Deactivating happens immediately, but deleting takes 14 days. So my account will sit there for 14 days, probably trying to go all South Park Tron-style without the threat of my terrible presence looming over it, and then it will be gone. So too will disappear the illusory, pseudo-friendships built from the wreckage of times past.