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April 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
I deactivated my Facebook this week in response to a challenge from my friend Z. I had briefly entertained the thought before, back when issues of facebook privacy arose in discussions about professionalism during the first week of medical school, but my consideration of the idea had lasted about 2.5 seconds. It seemed so ludicrous. I said as much to Z.
“It’s not ludicrous at all!” he said. “I got rid of mine in October, didn’t you know?”
“Really?” I asked. “But you’re so normal…”
I shriveled a bit under his stare. Okay fine…
I made sure, via appropriate selection, that Zuckerberg knew that this move was temporary, for reasons I can’t even explain to myself.
We’re sorry to see you go, Facebook told me in an oddly cloying goodbye page. We hope you’ll be back.
“There,” Z said. “Doesn’t that feel so liberating?”
“Hardly,” I said. “It kind of feels like an amputation.”
I went to bed uneasy that night. The next day, in tutorial, my friend M told me about having deactivated his Facebook during fraternity rush in college.
“Of course I deactivated my main account and quickly created another secret one,” he said. A crazed look suddenly crossed his face. “I mean, no one really uses their Facebook for social reasons. But I needed to keep track of everyone else.”
Though I would never admit it to anyone but you, my anonymous Internet fan, I can sort of understand. In the absence of status updates, online albums and actually-does-anyone-really-use-the-notes-feature? how was I ever going to know about the goings-on in my friends’ lives?
When I told my mum about having deactivated my account last night over the phone, she suddenly went quiet and then asked me if I was going through some kind of depression, or rage. That gave me pause. Either having a Facebook account was now associated with mental and social stability, or my mother, as a primary care physician, was that keenly attuned to the psychology of young people.
It’s now day 3 of Z’s one week challenge. I’m not in withdrawal, per se, but excuse me while I trek to the nearest RedBox to rent a copy of The Social Network.