There are loads of reasons why I’ve just taken the calmly considered and maturely debated total drunken snap decision to delete my Facebook account. We all know that the vast majority of people who lurk around its seedy, holiday photo filled pages are nothing more than attention whores, sweaty keyboard perverts and/or GAA recruiters with little to do other than one handedly type their way to filthy gratification. The others are merely the trapped. The ones who need its sweet yet sour nectar to conduct reality on any sort of realistic reality based real scale.
I was, until now, trapped in Facebook. And like all of you, I sometimes dreamt of a world where it didn’t exist. Like Ganymede, one of the moons of Jupiter, which almost certainly doesn’t have social networking of any kind.
“So, why not just rid yourself of this weighty conundrum Disgrace”, nobody screams.
Well, hold on. I've had my finger hovering over ‘Delete ‘Facebook’ more times than an Archbishop has ‘Clear Browsing History’. I’ve narkily removed friends, regretted my drunken comments about Pandas and occasionally gone through party snaps of people that wouldn’t stop to check for a pulse if they’d found me in their garden with a pair of binoculars and an asphyxiation device. But I backed off. I hesitated. For some reason, I couldn’t function without my deeply soulless, unfulfilling and sometimes soul battering morning logins. If I didn’t know what the guy with the goatee who I used to work with but had totally forgotten about until we became online ‘friends’ had found that morning in the toilet, I’d be totally useless for the day.
“What did he find?” I’d have troubled myself with, without even knowing that he’d found anything because I wasn’t even on Facebook at all.
A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with one of very best real life friends and I remarked that I was friends with his real life ex, on Facebook. He wasn’t a member, never has been and he told me without embarrassment, that he never would be. We rambled a bit, and he sent me pictures of himself in his underwear etc when he mentioned that he thought she was seeing someone else. He wasn’t sure, and he was probably hoping she wasn’t. But I was sure. And she was. It was all over Facebook. I didn’t tell him, because (A) it would hurt him, and (B) it would probably introduce him to the tragic world of social networking, which in its most useful form is a snooping and stalking tool that quickly turns into an online paranoia machine. He didn’t need to be on it, and was lucky not to be. I deleted her as a friend and didn’t say a word. However, seeing as he reads this, I’m sure he’s now face down in his Weetabix, mumbling something about oblivion.
It’s nothing new.
In the past I’ve removed non-satisfying friends, lingering exes and so-so’s that I’ve worked with but it was always a near fruitless task. I once deleted a girl I worked with who’s only reason for existing seemed to be to pose in a doorway with her latest dress on, in one of her many hilariously titled ‘IT’S ALL ABOUT ME’ photo albums, only to find a friend request from her in my inbox an hour later. I even stopped posting status updates and would just sporadically pop up a few ‘check-ins’, if only to prove I was still alive and then only if I happened to be near something hilarious and unexpected - Like ‘The Well Woman Clinic’ or, ‘A Job’. This, yet again, made me as fulfilled as a chronic porn addict whose Mickey had just fallen off in the shower. So, I did it.
I ‘deactivated’ my social network Facebook account thingy.
Of course, I’d love to say ‘I deleted it’ permanently or that I ’Forever removed’ my account, but I did not. I can’t. Nobody can. Facebook says sorry to see you go, and then asks some nonchalant questions as to why you’re leaving, like some sort of subservient hand-beaten wife who’s just relieved you didn’t take the house with you, and it lets you drift off, half knowing you’ll be back anyway. If you ever login again, Facebook will suddenly start making parping noises and drop balloons whilst welcoming you back in a pathetic, almost embarrassing, attempt at repatriation.
‘We’ve been counting down the days until you came back!!!’ It’ll whimper, as it steals your vitals and sells them to Google.
If you don’t attempt to login again it’ll mail you and put on the puppy dog eyes. It’ll say ‘Weeee wissss wuuuu!!! Booooooo’ and/or create a vast terrorist background based on your identity and pass it on to the CIA. It’s that serious folks.
I’m a day into my latest attempt at ridding myself of the worst social scourge since the plague and already I’m seeing the benefits. I rang someone today. By telephone. We talked about stuff and I found out what they did yesterday. I would of course have known what they were doing yesterday quite easily if I still had Facebook, but when someone sexually abuses a dog and writes a bagpipe sonata about it, I prefer to hear about it, first hand.. And as I hung up on Westy, I thanked him for telling me.
Farewell Facebook (until Saturday, probably)