Several times now I’ve declared some official self-imposed exile from Facebook or another. The connectivity of that website is brilliant and the ability to share with anyone and everyone still startles me every time I visit. On the other hand, I feel relentlessly bothered by how proliferated my personal information is. With the advent of the new “Timeline” feature there is a growing weariness inside of me. I feel that it does not tell a person’s story whatsoever. Instead, it further bolsters the ego and the built, phantasmal identity one can create by having Facebook. After all, we share only what we want to share.
The other day I posted a rude and rather obnoxious, flagrant post about this to my profile. It received both sympathy and insinuations of “If you don’t like it, why are you here?” So, having thought that concept over, I recalled my past attempts at giving up the website recently and the three-month struggle I undertook quite some time ago. In fact, I encourage you to read all of the posts leading up to that, detailing literal withdrawal symptoms I had a hard time overcoming. With this evidence and experience behind me, I decided it was time to take the literal plunge, once and for all: I completely annihilated my account. Besides the pixels of me in images others posted on their profiles (which are now completely unlinked to my non-existent profile) my presence on Facebook has been destroyed. I can’t login to save my account even if I wished to do so. Such a feat was not easy to accomplish.
I was initially inspired to eventually go all the way when I saw a friend’s issue of Adbusters magazine in 2008. In issue 77, contributor and cultural critic Micah M. White wrote about an increasingly common undertaking known as “Facebook Suicide” — in short, erasing all of your friends on Facebook to alert them of your coming disappearance and then requesting the administrators to permanently delete your account. Although White goes into a lengthy, optimistic dialogue and tells a rather terrifying story about his own identity falling prey to the social networking giant and how he escaped, his wishful thinking has fallen short of its goals. On the other hand, permanently deleting your exploitable presence on Facebook may sound fantastical, and White’s method is rather dated, but all of it is possible. I cannot vouch for anyone to leave or to stay, but in the following post I can share information that will help a user say “sayonara sucker” and escape the grasp of the juggernaut.