Today I “Deactivated” my Facebook account. I wanted to delete it but apparently that’s not really an option over there. So, yeah. Deactivated. Let me begin by stating that I am by no means someone who holds back when it comes to sharing personal information on the Web. (How old is this website?) But I do like having control over it to some degree and I definitely don’t want that guy seeing what sites I visit. The more I read about Facebook’s evolving privacy policies, the more it puts me off. (See this article or this one. Hell, there are hundreds of them out there. Pick one.)
So: I’m gone. But not after putting myself through a great deal of inner turmoil questioning whether I would cease to exist just by canceling my account on the 3rd most popular website in the entire world. This was a HUGE decision, right? I mean, would I miss seeing that plant you harvested yesterday? Would I miss the quizzes clueing me into the intimacies of 400 of your favorite things?
Would I cease to exist if I could no longer post pictures of my cat. Would he? OMG! NO NO! NOT MURRAY!
And, yes, I realize that this qualifies as what one might refer to as a “First World Problem” but I can’t buy milk without putting myself through inner turmoil of some sort. I’m not kidding. I question everything.
In all seriousness, I really enjoyed getting back in touch with people. Facebook brought me a great deal of laugh-out-loud moments over the years because—I’ll be honest with you—I know the greatest, most hilarious people. I definitely have the 3rd most funniest group of friends in the entire world. (Take that, Facebook!) Plus, my entire extended family is on there (with the exception of my mother and older brother—who were wise for not ever getting sucked in) and they are all crazy—but in a very, very good way.
But I went there. I had to. It was time. I went there and I hit “My Account” and I hit “Deactivate My Account” and then this happened:
“Are you sure you want to deactivate your account? Ben will miss you. Gerry will miss you. Heather will miss you! Amy is VERY disappointed in you and she’s documenting the whole thing. AND ERIC HAS TURNED INTO A DOG!”
All 159 of my friends “will no longer be able to keep in touch with” me, because apparently Facebook has removed the ability to use phones, email, mailboxes, planes, trains, and automobiles—correspondence as we know it is no longer. (I’m just now realizing that there’s a great deal of truth to that statement, but that’s a story for another day.)
I kept going. I wrote a little something about privacy or lack thereof and then I stopped. Was I sure? Was I really, really sure?
Oh, the humanity.
But I did it. I hit “Deactivate My Account”.
Then a “Security Check” window popped up making sure I was actually human. It read:
Don’t mind if I do, Facebook. Don’t mind if I do.