Following the conversation on @tbeckett's #facebook announcement that he's deleting his account has been kinda fascinating.

There's almost an assumption of social death and feelings of abandonment, which demonstrates how deeply the mediated commodification of our relationships have gotten.

I plan of winding down my account and replacing it with a sockpuppet for unavoidable things following my big work conference in June, and am curious to see how it plays out for me...


@mattcropp @tbeckett

As someone with no FB account, the assumptions of social death often leave me a bit bemused.

I made an early fairly private choice that I didn't like the nature of FB. It wasn't a particularly technical or privacy related choice, but a kind of hunch-y ethical one. Something about the way MZ talked about it alerted me to something.

Absolutely nothing bad has happened to me as a result. I'm socially connected and totally OK.

@katebowles @mattcropp @tbeckett I think it depends on what kind of network you have, and how well established that network is.

I deleted my facebook around the time I started studying at the university, and boy did I experience social death.
I lost contact with friends from earlier schools that lived within biking distance of me, and missed out on most gatherings and parties.

This was 2010-2013, though, and my early twenties, and in Denmark, so that's definitely got something to do with it.

@zatnosk @mattcropp @tbeckett

This is really how FB has been so effective: recruitment at socially formative times in life (now, primary school).

Genuinely complex to undo.

@katebowles @zatnosk @mattcropp @tbeckett

in England some primary schools have staff online and authorised groups/pages, and use the messaging facilities to contact parents (especially in rural areas where mobile signal is poor, but a place of employment provides wifi for staff and visitors). Not seen any child safety concerns about this, I suspect though data *is* gathered and used for advertising (such as making toy adverts or for school supplies appear on devices used by parents/kids)

Same. I lost the "fake/old" friends I've accumulated over the years (I mean why do people keep in contact with high school people? Weird). Now I just have direct lines of communication with family (email, messaging apps) and other friends I actually meet in RL.

@katebowles The social death aspect surprised me. But FB is a way to retain a social/emotional connection with a lot of people I’d never see otherwise. The benefit of social media is that it brings like-minded people together. But it is also engineered to foster that dopamine hit of connection. For me it became a choice to “be here now” and step aside from all that. @mattcropp

@mattcropp @tbeckett
I am in the same boat. Just didn't like the feel of Facebook or the junk that I heard about that came along with it. Never made an account and I'm perfectly happy and don't feel like I've missed out on anything. In fact I feel like fb users are the ones that have missed out on doing better things with their time.

@katebowles @tbeckett @mattcropp I think the problem is that a lot of people have let FB be their primary (or only) social connection, so they will lose out by disconnecting. People who made the early decision to opt-out have literally nothing to lose because they've been going without that avenue already.

@katebowles @mattcropp @tbeckett

USians who habitually use Facebook forget how to maintain social relationships without Facebook. Naturally the notion of having to actually talk to people scares them.

@katebowles @mattcropp @tbeckett I phased out AIM as I moved into Facebook, and I'm realizing I've lost some friendships because of that (other reasons, too, and not amazing friendships, but ones that were important once.) Also wondering if leaving some online professional spaces (a FB group, a listerv) impacted a career move I made because I didn't have those support systems at a bad time. Not saying it was wrong for me to join or leave groups, but I need to be more thoughtful about it.

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