Last Monday, I took a step I'd been meaning to take for about 4 years, pretty much since I joined. I left facebook! There were certainly enough reasons, all of the information leak scares, knowing how much people rely on it for day to day information about people they don't really know, and the increasing feeling that I was just a pawn in someone else's money-machine.
It's been pretty interesting being out, since most people are know are still in it. I get lots of conversations that start with "What do you think about... oh wait, you're not on facebook, so you probably haven't seen..." Apparently a friend of mine was awarded a Fulbright recently, and I just found out today because she announced it on facebook. It's the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether I made a right choice. I know how much time I wasted refreshing the page and only getting news about people from high school I don't care about, who post far more than anyone I do care about. I like to think that was a failure of facebook in interpreting and selecting information, but now I'm still out of the loop on a lot of things. There are some people I don't have e-mail addresses for, and might not be able to easily contact at the moment, but hopefully I'll collect information from mutual friends and be able to get in touch with people when the need arises.
In what I like to think has become a reflexive exercise for me, I find myself thinking, what was it that I didn't like about facebook, and can I find something that is better. I don't really know anyone who uses microblogging software, indenti.ca being the notable FOSS option there, so there seems no reason to start. Maybe I just need to send out this blog to more people, and hope they'll check in on me from time to time, or add me to an RSS aggregator.
Reflecting in a different way, this is yet another way I've willingly limited my interactions with other people. I don't eat meat with them, I don't go on facebook with them, etc. I hope it makes other interactions more meaningful, instead of just cutting people off.