I type in "www.facebook.com" into my internet browser. It's been a month since I've visited. I deactivated my account on a whim after I realized that there was no way I was going to make it through the end of the semester with the world's most insipid time suck readily at my fingertips.
Now I am typing it into my url bar and my browser can't seem complete the task. This is irritating to me because I want to log in as quickly as possible, find the account deletion page as quickly as possible and get back to cleaning my bathroom as quickly as possible.
I thought I would feel compelled to reactivate my account after the semester ended and time felt less constrained, but the opposite has in fact occurred. I feel less compelled to keep up with my pixelated relationships and more compelled to spend time with my friends in private email, phone, and face-to-face conversations. I picked up a rigorous praying schedule. I even mailed a hand-written letter for the first time in months.
I'm still waiting for facebook to finish loading. My impatience is mounting.
Deleting my facebook account feels right. I'm creeped out by the ways they use my information to market to me. Mark Zuckerburg doesn't seem like a reliable CEO. I don't think that CEOs of billion dollar companies are generally the sorts of people that I would hang out with on a daily basis, but I'm doubly deterred by him. I know I am not to judge a book by its cover or make assumptions about people I don't know... but... I just can't get over the fact that he doesn't seem trustworthy. Unless of course my goal was to make money.
Still loading. REALLY?
Since I deactivated my account, I've received more personal contact from friends in other places. I've felt less social pressure to be fantastically witty and beautiful in every moment. I've missed details on a few social events and didn't care. I've felt free. I had a good friend who also, independently, decided to delete her account. External confirmation is rewarding.
Still loading. Moved to the ipad. Yeesh. It's like they know I am killing it. Okay, the ipad loaded quickly.
This summer, I am going to work with gang-affected youth in Houston. I've never done this sort of work, but I'm thrilled someone has decided it is an important piece of my vocational formation. I can't wait to meet the guys and play video games (at this task, I know I will fail, but humility is critical) and maybe go to the zoo. I can't wait to share pieces of my life with them and hope that they will feel welcome and safe to do the same. Perhaps I will be compelled to re-enter the pixelated domain in order to keep in touch with them. I'll make that decision when the situation presents itself.
I find the account deletion page within the labyrinth of Facebook's help pages. I feel a little nervous about all of this. But I'm not even tempted to scroll through my news feed.
Deletion is what I want. I'm not really going anywhere, after all. I'm not deleting myself. My body still occupies the 5' 2.5", 130 lbs. space that it did yesterday and last week and four months ago. Life isn't perfect or even any better without facebook, but it is more bodily, more mindful, and and maybe a little more heartfelt. That makes my life seem more like me.
Read my fellow Creative Collective bloggers' work on the topic of "Space" here.