Gone from Facebook

For those whom I know in person or who otherwise communicate me through Facebook, be aware that I’ve deactivated my account in full. I’d been thinking about doing this for quite some time and decided that today would be a good day to do it.

Why? Too many reasons, but a few stood out from all the others.

The more time I spent there, the more I realised the service did absolutely nothing that couldn’t be accomplished through existing means. If people want to find me (nostalgia, chatting about old times, etc.), I’m incredibly easy to find on the web given what I do, what I’m associated with, where I live, and so on. And if you already communicate with me then you already know what works best (Email, IM, or phone call).

I came to the (somewhat narcissistic) conclusion that if I matter to someone or something is important enough, then “tracking me down” should be pretty easy (find my home page/blog/whatever and Email me) — as folks have for the past, oh, 15 years.

Facebook might make that whole process easier, but there something very uncomfortable about the model of “social networking” sites (including MySpace, Friendster, etc.). When someone does “dig you up” there’s a sudden feeling of excitement or amazement (“Wow! I haven’t heard of or talked to person in ages!”). This feeling continues for a while (varies on the person and the relationship you had with them), but as time progresses less and less actual interaction happens. Eventually the only communication that occurs is through status updates, links to random web sites, Youtube videos, or some Facebook application/game. And (for me any way), I start feeling disconnected from those who I just “reconnected” with. This even applies to people who I see in person on a daily basis (then ask yourself how that’s even possible).

The feelings I’m describing are almost like that of drugs — initial highs, with a gradual decline (increase in monotonous behaviour) until the cycle repeats. Communication starts feeling like that of a personal service: a few messages back and forth, then silence followed by occasional viewing of one another’s profiles. I always have something to say, but most other people don’t. I’m never bored, but maybe other people become so.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’m not cut out for this “social networking” thing.