After more than 13 years sharing updates, I just pulled the plug on Facebook. I hit the “Permanently Delete Account” button around 6:19 p.m. The universe did not implode.
The first click was pretty anti-climatic to be honest. It presented me with the option to “Deactivate” my account and come back to it in the future when I’m ready to rejoin. I could imagine it’s a tempting option for the weak hearted. But Mary warned me against it: “I tried it once. Mark Zuckerberg emails you like 10 times a day to get you to rejoin,” she explained.
I clicked continue, and Facebook followed up with a few “are you sure?!” screens before presenting a final message explaining that I have 30 days to change my mind.
Don’t worry, we’re still friends!
Before I quit Facebook I downloaded my entire account history, which included more than 600 photos I’ve uploaded through the decade, dozens of private message threads (boy, those are enlightening), hundreds of links and updates, and a list of all 478 of my “friends.” Even if you don’t plan to quit Facebook, this is an interesting package of data to own, especially if you like crunching spreadsheets, like me!
I exported the friends list into a spreadsheet to do a bit of data analysis on my history of friendships. I grouped and sorted the list by the era we first met, where we became friends, and how our relationship started. Did we start as social friends? work friends? or a friend of a friend?
(I realize this is strange behavior. Everyone in my house has told me this a few times this weekend. But this is how I prefer to grieve the loss of a social media platform.)
The data tells me a few things:
It was much easier for me to make friends in high school and college than it is in adulthood. And the older I get, the more my work life has dominated my social life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I met so many of you in the workplace (green) versus hobbies and social activities (blue).
Keep in touch
Thanks to all of you who wished me well on my final goodbye post, shared their contact information with me, or followed me here on Weekndr.com. If you haven’t yet, please send me your contact info, I promise to keep in touch!