Last Sunday night I deleted my Facebook account. Or, to be more precise, deactivated it. For some reason Facebook does not explicitly give you the option of permanently deleting your account, instead preferring to save your information indefinitely. To delete all your personal details you must first submit a request to Facebook, an unnecessarily laborious task that many choose to skip in favour of deactivation.
Seeking to end my Facebook misery quickly, I deactivated my account. My reasons for this are myriad, yet Facebook boasts over 500 million users, a figure that is rising rapidly. Its popularity continues to grow and grow but I found its appeal had diminished a long time ago. No longer a pleasantly distracting social outlet, it has descended into a virus-ridden black hole where racism thrives and baseless conjectures masquerades as fact.
In an environment where no one deems it worthwhile to source information, anyone can post anything on Facebook and have it accepted as truth. The night I decided to close my account for good, I had seen a photograph of "the corpse" of Osama bin Laden, a doctored image that was about as legitimate as the lads with facial hair playing U-12 hurling. Within minutes of its posting, throngs of people had either commented on or 'liked' the photo, none questioning the veracity of the image even though the quickest of Google searches could have told them no such photo had been released to the public.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back, the final nail in the coffin and other such cliches. My affair with Facebook was over, roughly eighteen months after it began. It all seemed so innocent when I first logged on, an easy way of interacting with friends, sharing interests or finding new music. Gradually, so gradually that I hadn't even realised it until about two weeks ago, its innocence was lost. Every kind of warped prejudice frequently rears its head on the site, dominating the ubiquitous 'likes' that smother each news feed.
The decision to quit Facebook was an easy one and it's something that I have not regretted once in the five days since I left. I feel freer, no longer at the mercy of the temptation to refresh my news feed to see if anything interesting had happened in the last five minutes. In Twitter, I can enjoy an infinitely more refined social networking site where I can control what appears in my feed rather than being subjected to the dull ramblings (irony is not lost on me) of acquaintances whose friend requests I couldn't bring myself to decline out of politeness.
So goodbye Facebook, I have a suspicion that neither of us will miss each other that much. Meantime I'll try to keep up this blogging business, hopefully gain a few readers. I'll probably stick to football blogging in the future (I'm only trying to find my feet with this post) but I may delve into hurling or music the odd time. So, if anyone ever does read this, I hope it tickled your interest and perhaps made you consider your status on Facebook (yes, that was a laboured pun).