On the same day Facebook is celebrating its IPO (Initial Public Offering), an exercise that will make Mark Zuckerburg a billionaire at 29, I am announcing that I am leaving Facebook. I have many reasons for doing this. I will outline a few of them here.
1. Facebook (FB for shorthand) is great for connecting me with people I truly care for and want to be in touch with. I have other tools that work just as well. I need to use them more and use FB less.
2. I feel bad when I spend time on FB when I should be spending time with my family being present. I hate that we are all locked into our own screens when we are together.
3. FB posts from friends are few and far between now. It has become more and more a place to advertise, to editorialize, or repost vapid sentiments. I’m looking for more genuine communication.
4. Comparing myself to what others are doing or accomplishing is not time well spent. Nor is creeping through other people’s pictures or profiles. I don’t want to be that person.
5. FB friendships that have led to reconnecting with people are great – but they need to exist outside of the virtual world. This will force me to do that. So to those of you with whom I’ve reconnected (and you know who you are) I will be using the old fashioned tools of email, text, and (gasp) phone to reach you in the future.
6. Last, but definitely not least, FB has had a profound impact on my marriage. I won’t go in to details, but it is not a good one. I have very bitter and strong feelings about the ways FB can be misused, and need to step out on a platform of action, saying loud and clear “this is how I feel about it”. I can do that by matching my actions with my words.
And so…a fond farewell to everyone here. I wish you well in your lives, I really do. I am reclaiming mine and will be the better for this, I am sure. If you’d like to stay in touch, I can be reached by email, snail mail, or phone. Mental Telepathy has also been known to work.
To Mark Zuckerburg, I can only say that I hope you take some of the money you are given for this enterprise and put it toward doing good things in the world. It is money that comes a little too easily and without being completely deserved. You have an obligation to give back – with great rewards come great responsibility. I hope that isn’t lost on you.
FB, I bid you adieu.