on why I left Facebook [Sat, 27 Aug 2011 15:43:36 +0000]
I recently got an email from a friend asking if I'd de-friended her on Facebook.
Nevermind that I hate the word "de-friend" - spoken or written but especially when written without the hyphen ... alas, she didn't use the hyphen.
I hadn't removed her from anything at all. Indeed, what I removed was myself.
I joined Facebook during library school because a lot of my cohort members were on it and also a lot of my other friends were increasingly less likely to respond to an email of mine, though I knew they actively conversed via text/SMS and social networks.
I've never been big on texting, especially in the days where I had a really basic phone without a keyboard. Even with T9 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T9_(predictive_text)], I hated it. In fact, even on my Android I still kinda hate it. I just find texting horribly inefficient. I only use it when I know my friends don't have consistent online access.
So anyway, social networking seemed like the only choice. Initially it was cool, people actually responding to questions of mine(!), getting "caught up" with old friends and all. But over time, it seemed nothing was happening, as if we were all in a temporal stasis.
And then there's just Facebook itself. I increasingly found it to be obnoxious both in its functionality and its policies - and also how it reminded me of how trivial so much of the e-communication I engage in is. In fact, when I deleted my Facebook account permanently a few weeks ago, I also deleted most of my phone and email contacts.
For sure, I'll miss some people who I may never talk to again. But missing people is part of the human experience for which some aspects of social networking are poor, poor substitutes.
And NO, I won't start using Twitter now.
ps: here's a tremendously interesting post entitled "Federation! (Goodbye, Google Plus) [http://gwynethllewelyn.net/2011/08/25/federation-goodbye-google-plus/]" on social networks, corporations, open-networks, etc.