Facebook: The Anti-Social Network

Remember the sound of a ringing doorbell? The charm of a face-to-face lunch?

I’ve decided to quit Facebook. Well, that’s what I’m telling everyone, but to be more accurate, I’ve decided to unfriend all 51 of my friends except for my daughter. (I know, you’re thinking I’m a loser because I only have 51 friends and anyone who’s at all cool has at least 1200 or so).

[SIGNUP]I forgot why I started a page in the first place: to keep in touch with what’s going on in my daughter’s world. Initially, when she was beginning high school, I relied on it to give me a heads up into anything sinister or dangerous. You know, drinking and driving, drug use, lying about her whereabouts. Luckily, I never discovered anything frightening about her behavior but learned way more than I should have about her friends. Kids about whom I thought otherwise, disappointed me with tales of terrible behavior and pictures to document the same. Such discoveries often made me squirm around other parents when it became clear that I was more aware of their children’s sketchy behavior than they were. You know, the “my angel would never do that sort of thing” type. Then, when she started college, it became one of the two ways through which she seemed likely to stay in touch, the other being texting. (Although, she does know how to use a land line when the funds are getting low. Funny, that.)

So, after I friended my daughter, 50 other people found me in cyberspace and asked for my hand in friendship. I accepted. I can say that, honestly, a very few of them are what I’d call good friends, the rest are, what, not so good friends? Somewhere between good friend and acquaintance, I guess. It all became very clear to me recently when someone I haven’t spoken to in a few years found me via Facebook and sent a friend request. I looked up her phone number and, after getting her on the phone, told her that I absolutely did not want to be her Facebook friend; I want to be her real-life, in-person friend. We chatted briefly and set up a lunch date for next week. I am eager to see her and catch up on each others’ lives.

It was so clear to me. I had to get rid of Facebook. I can’t stand one more embarrassing tidbit from the teenager sect and can’t read one more line of drivel about someone’s trip to Montana or how much they love the snow/heat/sunset/trees/waves. Facebook has become viral graffiti. As the kids say, TMI.

So this is what I posted: “I’ve decided that Facebook is the anti-social network. I’ve had enough. I’ll be unfriending everyone except Lil in one week. If you’re one of my closest friends, you’ll know how to reach me. If you’re not, you won’t miss me! xoxox”

I know, it sounds kind of harsh but you can only post so many characters so I was forced to be succinct. I think I succeeded. After I posted my farewell address, I heard almost immediately from my best buds, wanting to know if I was upset about something and why was I going away. I assured them that I was not going anywhere, just off Facebook, and that my cell phone number, land line number and e-mail addresses all still worked just fine. And, just like it always did, so does my doorbell.