Goodbye Facebook

Not that long ago I cut off my short relationship with MySpace and switched to Facebook. I’m glad I did; my experience was much better.

I jumped on the Facebook bandwagon without really knowing how I would use it. Everyone was buzzing about it—so I joined for no better reason than to see what the fuss was all about, and to have an excuse to cancel the MySpace account.

A few weeks into it, I realized what it was good for. I could follow closely as friends and family went about their everyday lives—which was especially important for those without blogs or Twitter accounts (or those who don’t update them… ahem). It was also a great way to get back in touch with old friends from high school and college.

I used Facebook applications to import all my non-Facebook content: photos from Flickr, updates from Twitter (“What are you doing right now?”), links from del.icio.us (work and personal), blog posts as “Notes”, and events from Upcoming. It really seemed kind of silly at that point—anyone can get that data directly from those other places, so why repeat it?

A few more weeks into Facebook another pattern emerged: the people whose updates I was most interested in weren’t active enough to show on my radar. In contrast, those friends who weren’t high on my interest list updated incessantly, which got annoying fast—even with the custom News feed settings.

As for those old friends that had come back into my life… well, I like you guys and want to keep in touch, but maybe I don’t need to know all the daily details? I copied all your contact details and won’t lose them this time (I promise!).

I decided to cancel my account even before news of the Beacon catastrophe hit the interwebs, though that exposure certainly helped sealed the deal. As Jeremy Keith pointed out in Facebooked up, “the Beacon ickiness has added to my overall discomfort with Facebook.” My thoughts exactly.

Deleting the account was simple—I just followed the instructions on WikiHow. The key is to register a new Facebook account with the same email address that you used for the first one.

What did I learn from this experience? Facebook allowed me to connect with old friends, but it didn’t do enough that I couldn’t live without it. If you are on Twitter, Upcoming, Flickr, del.icio.us, or have a blog—I’ll find you and follow you. If you aren’t, drop me a line and I’ll help you get started.