The first rule of deleting your Facebook account is that you don’t talk about deleting your Facebook account.
But I can’t help myself.
I figured that when I finally deleted Facebook (trust me when I say it was only a matter of time) it would give me some decent fodder for a blog post.
(And since this is my blog, I can write about whatever I want, right?)
Deleting Facebook was not something that came to me one morning when I awoke.
No, I’ve been noodling on it for a long time. And there are quite a few reasons.
When I was stuck in traffic (which is, like, all of the time) I would bring it up on my phone and thumb my way through recent updates.
While sitting on my couch watching a baseball game, I would open the app on my phone and absentmindedly scroll through the recent updates.
Before I turned off the light at night I would check Facebook again, just in case something important was shared that I just had to know about. (Spoiler: That’s never the case.)
No, the idea to do so has been festering in my mind, showing up at regular intervals, suggesting that today would be a good day to cut that cord that once brought me so much voyeuristic joy.
Facebook had become something that felt necessary, rather than something that felt organic and enjoyable. And why use something if you get no joy out of it?
But if I’m honest, the real reason I deleted it was because it was turning me into someone I didn’t like.
Like most everyone on Facebook, I hid people; people I know in real life.
We all know those people. They over-share. Or they use the social network to put up a shiny and perfect persona. Or they share viewpoints you disagree with.
Everyone knows these people. And, I would guess, a large percentage of these people can hide someone and forget about them.
But I couldn’t.
Rather than interact on Facebook with people I like, I found myself looking at status updates for the people whose online personas I didn’t like, just to confirm my belief that I hid them for a reason.
Isn’t that terrible?
I was spending the majority of my time hate-reading status updates.
For my own sanity, I had to stop.
I didn’t want to hang out with friends in real life and let their Facebook activity, of all things, color my impression of them. I just wanted to like them for who they were; not for how they portrayed themselves online.
So, a little over a week ago, I deleted my account.
It hasn’t been a life-changing experience. But nothing has felt different, either. If anything, I don’t automatically visit the site when I have a few minutes of downtime. I do something that’s a bit more productive instead, even if that’s just finishing an email for work or reading another chapter of a book.
And it’s not like I suddenly fell off the face of the earth. I’m still very active on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. There’s also this thing called e-mail that works wonders for communication with friends and family, even though my dad thinks it’s just for forwarding email.
Since cutting the cord, not one person has asked me why I unfriended them, either. But maybe that’s because Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t let you see what all of your friends are doing.
If anything, the lack of a response indicates nobody pays attention on Facebook.
I got on the Facebook bandwagon a few years after I graduated from college. So I didn’t get to use it when it was restricted to kids with university e-mail address.
If I had, maybe that would’ve changed my perception of the site.
But I didn’t, so I’m used to my feed clogged with ads, promoted posts, and the occasional interesting post.
The rest was just clutter.
And nobody wants more clutter in their life.