My relationship with Facebook began many years ago, during the days when it was available only to college students. Graduating seniors from the high school where I worked invited me to join as a means of our staying in touch once they were ensconced on their distant college campuses. I happily signed up.
During my time on Facebook, I’ve wasted countless hours while accumulating more than a thousand additional friends. There have been birthday greetings galore, both made and accepted, along with political debates with people I don’t know and don’t agree with. Only one of those will I miss.
When I owned a business, I used Facebook to advertise events and menu specials because it was easy to use and affordable. If I spent more money, my ad’s reach was expanded to get more eyes on whatever I was selling. It seemed a fair deal.
There have been hundreds of photos, status updates and blog posts shared. I’ve gotten to know some people better than I ever had during real life and welcomed the chance to stay in touch with distant friends. I also learned the difference between unfollowing, unfriending and blocking – and when to use each of them.
Although I had watched The Social Network a few years ago it wasn’t enough to prompt me to do more than delete the Facebook app on my phone. I didn’t watch Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with the Facebook whistleblower who made a damning case about the priorities of the company for which she had worked, a situation which I wasn’t incredibly surprised by, to be honest.
Even that wasn’t enough to prompt me to walk away from the app which morphed from a means to remain in touch to one that was determined to touch everything in millions of users’ lives. It seems Facebook is a social app in the same way Amazon is a bookstore.
No, what has caused me to finally decide I’ve had enough of the cannibalization perpetrated by Mark Zuckerberg’s company was learning that during the approximately 6 hours his platforms were “down” the other day, he lost $7 billion.
How is that possible? What does that even mean? Has Facebook contributed enough to society to ever justify their incredible value?
I don’t think so. I’m out.
My profile will remain live through the weekend. I’m really going to miss seeing my friends and family and feeling a sense of connection to their lives. I’ve loved participating in your lives and will miss celebrating your triumphs and sending virtual hugs when you’ve suffered losses.
I’m still “here” for you, friends. I just won’t be there.