Breaking up with Facebook

Here’s what I posted on my FB page this afternoon:

Dear friends, I’m leaving fb. I’ve been contemplating this for months and finally decided that I want to give it a try. It’s a personal decision, nothing bad has happened to make me decide to leave. I have grown weary of the ever-shifting privacy issues with fb. And more importantly, I don’t want fb to be the only way I connect with people I care about.

It’s possible that I’ll decide that this was a terrible mistake and come back  but I have to give it a try. I welcome your continued friendship and thank you for the many, many ways you have blessed my life.

I will be devoting more time to the blog:http://gardengateblog.com/ and probably combing the food stuff with the counseling stuff in one place. I hope you’ll take time to check over there now and then.
This has been a long time coming.

On the one hand, I love seeing the photos of people’s kids and pets, and admit to posting “Happy birthday to my cat.” photos annually.  I’ve made connections with relatives, friends from elementary school, college friends, seminary pals, and even friends that I’ve never met in real life.  It’s been a lot of fun.

But there are times when Facebook (FB) feels very disconnecting.  It seems that fewer people post about their present life and instead post clever photos or quotes, or videos that they like.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but it feels much less personal.
Additionally, I have 500+ friends on Facebook but only interact with a handful.  What is that about? Why am I not interacting with all of them?   Can anyone really interact in a meaningful way with 500 people regularly?   And if we are FB friends and yet never talk in person, by email. or even message on FB, why are we connected?  I ask myself these questions and come up with nothing that feels like a solid answer.
I am indeed weary of the constantly shifting privacy issues at Facebook.  I don’t think our privacy ever has been a top priority for Facebook, and while I was gung-ho to jump into social networking, I find myself wanting more control over what happens to my intellectual property.  I have often heard it said that once something is on the internet, it’s there forever.  If that’s true then Pippin’s birthday photos won’t really be deleted when my account is deleted.  That’s fine, Pippin probably should be immortalized on the internet anyway.  But what about the young professionals who’ve had their jobs impacted by their FB postings. Or friends who post about being hung over from a wild night of partying.  If these things don’t go away, when are they going to come back to haunt us?
Maybe I’m just not in the Facebook zone anymore.  Maybe I just don’t “get” Facebook anymore.  But for now, Facebook isn’t going to get any more time or energy from me.  What are your thoughts about using social media and Facebook in particular?  Please leave your comments below.
Cynthia – with apologies for the formatting.  Apparently WP doesn’t want to make new paragraphs in the same places I do.

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