I finally did it. I put up a notice as my Facebook update telling people I'll be deleting my account in a few weeks, and to message me for "real" contact information if they wish to keep in touch with me. A surprising number of them asked why I was leaving, and said they'd miss following my shenanigans. I didn't just wake up one day and say "screw Facebook", and some part of me likes knowing what my far flung acquaintances are up to. I mean, Facebook has even helped me out a few times when I was stranded in airports and such. But when I thought about it, I concluded that on balance, Facebook makes my life worse, not better. So, in order, here are my reasons for deleting my Facebook account.
1. I am happier when I don't use Facebook. This is enough of a reason all on it's own. I don't need Facebook for my personal life, for work, or to keep in touch with my close friends. It is something I don't need that improves my life when it is absent.
2. I want to spend more time with the people that are actually in my life, including myself. One day I will die, and until then, I'd like to live, rather than post about living, take photos of living, and nose around at how other people that I haven't spoken to in 4 years are living.
3. I want to have conversations, not participate in a flurry of monologues with comments. I enjoy conversations. I do not particularly enjoy monologues with comments, nor do I gain much insight from them.
4. I crave either solitude or human interaction. Facebook is a time-suck that doesn't offer either of them. There are enough distracting beautiful images, insights from friends and strangers, and bizarrely hilarious moments in my real life. Lolcats and reposted jokes simply don't measure up to the real deal.
5. I don't feel the need to share my random useless thoughts or mundane daily activities with the world at large, and even if I love you, I don't want to hear most of yours unless you're a good friend. I do have close friends that I don't see very often, those friendships have made it through decades of mostly-living-in-different-countries because we've made the time to connect and really listen to each other when we do communicate.
In short, real life takes time. Facebook takes time. Real life brings me joy. Facebook brings me... not much, if I'm brutally honest with myself about it. Why would I invest time in something that gives me nearly nothing in return when investing time in real life gives me so much?