I did it. I broke free from the shackles of Facebook.
And you know what? The world did not come to a crashing end.
Somehow, since joining in 2007, I've become Facebook friends with: people that I've only met once, elementary school classmates, people who are friends of friends, and just about anybody that I've had a touch point with. And their lives flashed in front of me. Once I logged on, my newsfeed was bombarded with pictures of vacations and weddings and babies. I was held part of a captive audience and gradually stopped posting altogether. I no longer wanted to participate.
It seemed like everybody in the world had a Facebook account and, if you didn't have one, you couldn't be trusted. Friend requests were sent and accepted loosely, as though this digital confirmation of a "friendship" had any meaning. Through Facebook, we were affirming each other's existence by liking and commenting and posting. As they say: If it's not on Facebook, it doesn't exist–and this applied to anything from wishing someone a happy birthday to being in a relationship.
My boyfriend and I decided not to connect on Facebook when we met. "I don't need to connect with you on Facebook to know you," he said, "You're right here next to me." He had a point. What difference would it make if we connected through a website? I thought about all of my real friendships and how Facebook was never a factor. Moreover, I didn't want to share parts of my personal life with a diluted audience of people I didn't know very well.
I finally made the decision to deactivate my personal profile this week* and he soon followed suit. This simple action resulted in a whole new outlook on privacy, friendships, and communication. As for staying in touch with the people in our lives? We figured that everyone we care about will know where to find us.
*The SINGLE GIRL DINNER Facebook page is still active as an extension of this website. I stopped using Facebook for personal purposes.