What happens after you leave Facebook?
In my case, phone and email have popped back to life. I’ve had several wonderful conversations, and there have been voicemails waiting for me. It’s nice to actually dig into a conversation with someone, really catch up, make progress in a relationship; rather than just hit “like” or submit a post.
It’s very nice to be free from the rage and political grandstanding. I have had my life’s quota of flying monkeys, thank you very much.
It’s also good to be able to let some people go; not in anger or spite, but as part of the normal course of life. There are some people I’ve grown apart from, without ill will. I’m no longer comfortable with their viewpoints, their current projects don’t speak to me, and if not for the extraordinary life support that Facebook gave, those friendships would have naturally died–shrunk into tiny points of light in the Milky Way–passed into dim legend.
It is time to let them go.
In a few cases, hindsight has taught me that “much friendship is feigning,” as Shakespeare said. I have remembered conversations from long ago, and only now do they cause me pain. These people should have long faded from my mind.
Instead, I feel I’ve been kept in artificial proximity –artificial life-support– to those I no longer have anything in common with.
As for professional colleagues, I don’t regret those online connections at all. We will have much to do together in the future. I just don’t think we need to be on social media together.
All that, plus being spied on by a Harvard dropout who wears T-shirts and protects his own privacy as he sells mine out for money, money, money.