Today, May 31, is Quit Facebook Day, created by people fed up with the social networking site's closed nature and privacy issues. So, did you quit?
The day is half over and the movement only has about 30,000 "committed" quitters, which means it's not going to be a big deal, but there's something very "I'm just calling you to tell you I'm never calling you again" about going to all the trouble to quit Facebook. Why not just do what I do and basically ignore it?
I've been mostly ignoring Facebook since November of 2008, when the reactions to Obama's win by the fundamentalist Christians I grew up with (who have all friended me for some unknown reason) ranged from merely ignorant (birthers) to flat-out racist. Yes, I know I can hide them or unfriend them, but that's work. Also, part of me wants to hang on to them as a way of keeping abreast of alarming trends. They're like this perfect focus group of people who think Sarah Palin is too liberal.
Since then, I've Gmail-filtered out all Facebook emails and have gone to the site only about once a month or so and then just for one kind of embarrassing reason: uh, when I hear about a party and think that I wasn't invited. I go to Facebook and, oh look, there's the invite. (I said it was pretty embarrassing.)
If you're old enough to even remember Friendster and MySpace, you probably still have accounts on those sites, but you just ignore them. Instead of making a huge deal out of quitting, people just gradually moved on to something better. Even the founders of the Quit Facebook Day movement admit that no other social networking site is quite as useful as Facebook. While Quit Facebook Day is a worthy movement, it's easy to see why it hasn't caught on, and if the folks whose constant, hysterical political invective (and seriously: who is watching their children?) scared me away from the site are any indication, the people who need to quit the most will give up the site when it's pried from their cold, dead, fingers.