Dump Facebook?

For a couple years I have been the diligent admin for a Facebook group called Fans of Iowa Men’s Basketball. I did not create the group but gladly volunteered to be the administrator when I noticed the position was vacant. The number of members has slowly dwindled with the fortunes of the men’s team, but I did not care. I posted scores, updated the team record after every game, and even added links to game articles last year. It was a nerdy thing for me to do, and it eventually became the only reason I did not permanently delete my Facebook account. (The only other reason was because my sister uses my account to keep tabs on an ex-boyfriend, who is now married.)

I understand millions use Facebook to keep in touch with friends (and “friends”), manage their social schedule, and broadcast personal news, but I do not. I did, but no more. I get event invitations and never respond. I removed or restricted all personal information. (Someone recently told me, “When I became your friend on Facebook it was like I wasn’t your friend.” My profile is basically my name and picture. That is it.) No one can find me or become my friend (except, apparently, those with mutual friends). I have not changed my profile picture since the summer of 2007. I am too private (despite this blog) and prefer human, in-person communication too much to divulge every detail about myself for the entire World Wide Web — that once free and limitless digital universe. Plus, after a point I became too suspicious of Mark Zuckerberg and his techies. (The Gestapo would have loved Facebook. Instead of spending time and money to spy on people, it is so much easier and cheaper to dupe them into willingly divulging everything about themselves on a centrally-controlled website.) Then there was the avalanche of advertising — the hallmark of greed and moral degradation on the Internet. Facebook turned me off. Yet I still have a profile and still diligently update Fans of Iowa Men’s Basketball.

Until now.

Fans is what Facebook calls an “Old Group” — a group predating a redesign in 2010. I really have no clue what the difference is, but Fans, along with every other group I joined during my earliest flirtations with social networking, was identified as antiquated by Zuckerberg and his techies and put on the chopping block. On a certain date, I was told, the group would be deleted or migrated to the new format. When asked if I wanted to continue to be a member I acknowledge that I did. When I logged on to post the score of Iowa’s loss to Indiana, I found that not only was I now the only member but I also could not edit the group. If I left the group, a side panel informed me, the group would be deleted.

I suppose I was a little bummed. It had almost become second instinct to update the page and post the score of the latest game (though I am relieved I no longer make myself do it). Apparently, all the other groups I joined way back when were also deleted, so I will bemoan the loss of a Duck Tales fan club, the UI chapter of “And by ‘soda’ you mean ‘pop,’ bitch,” and, my favorite group, “I Masturbate with a Loaded Gun in my Mouth.” (The group picture was of a man, a strained expression on his face, holding a gun in his mouth. It was priceless.) Regardless, this now means I have no reason to even have a Facebook account.

I have thought about permanently deleting my account for a while. (“Deactivating” an account only suspends it; Facebook stores the data in case you want to return. In order to truly cancel and delete an account, you need to specifically request Facebook techies to do so — presumably so they can inform the Gestapo.) Now I have no reason not to. I did plan to do it after this basketball season, and was planning to recruit Bobblehead to take over my admin duties on Fans. But that will not be happening since Facebook not only sealed the fate of the group but conveniently gave me the perfect reason to leave it for good.

Should I do it? Should I shun what is fast becoming the Internet’s only means to communicate and connect? Along with deleting my account, I have also thought about doing the opposite: update my information, respond to invitations and whatnot, and generally dive whole-heartedly into the experience just to do it. I will think about it in the coming days. If I decided to delete it, though, I will need to tell my sister. There will be no more ex stalking for her.


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