Goodbye Facebook

“Technology conspires with populism to create an ideologically vacant dictatorship of likes.”- Alex Ross

The above quote from New Yorker contributor and author, Alex Ross, gets at the crux for why the time has come for me to leave the Facebook community.

That’s right – just deactivate, and let go.  The time has come to deepen my connections with those I truly care about, rather than dilute them with the methadone drip of the “newsfeed.”

I have to admit.  It is kind of scary.  After all, I have been a part of this online community ever since one needed a university email address in order to have an account. I can’t help but thinking – “What will I miss out on??!!”  “Will I effectively cease to exist?”  “Will I ever hear from friends and family again?” That remains to be seen.

Now that communicating essentially amounts to “liking” what someone posts, can I ever expect to hear from anyone again?  Okay, I admit, I’m being little hyperbolic.  But really, am I that far off?  When wishing a friend happy birthday is reduced to an emoji of a birthday cake, posted next to 200 similar messages, does it mean anything?  When someone reports the death of a loved one, or a troubling time in their life, only to be met with an emoji of a “sad face”, what are we saying to each other as people?  Do important life events warrant a mere digital caricature of emotion, and nothing more in today’s social culture?

I didn’t think this would be such a big ordeal until I actually went through the process of trying to deactivate my Facebook page.  The powers that be at Facebook make it VERY hard to do.  Not only that, but now that so many apps are connected to Facebook for login purposes, trying to use the apps  on my phone has suddenly become an annoyance as well.  It wasn’t until I tried to disconnect that I realized just how reliant my daily life is on the services of Facebook.  This is both frustrating and eye opening, not to mention slightly unnerving.

So, with all of that said – goodbye Facebook.  You’ve brought me many a laugh, and quite a few manic evenings of endless trolling and scrolling.

Now, I think i’ll go catch up on my New Yorker subscription, and call a friend.