Back in the lord’s year of 1990, I graduated from Mahopac High School with Amy Regan.
We weren’t friends at the time. We weren’t enemies at the time. We were just classmates. She was a cheerleader. I was sports editor of the newspaper. She was popular. I was more, well, on the margins. It was one of those things—hi, bye. In a class of 330 kids, you pick your friends and enemies. Amy was neither.
A bunch of years ago, however, we connected on Facebook. You know, I was planning our 20th high school reunion, she was coming. And, when time was spare, we’d DM on the page. About Mahopac. About kids. About politics. We even met once for coffee, and it was lovely. I felt like I knew Amy for years. Which, in a way, I did. But didn’t. But sorta did.
As I type this I’m DMing Amy, who is telling me about attending a Mets game with her husband and kids last. And it all makes me sorta sad, because I’m pretty sure—come fall—I’m officially shutting down my Facebook existence for good. Which means no more Facebook DMing with Amy and Adam and Elizabeth and Paul and …
The reasons are myriad. Yes, I’m tired of learning 40 percent of the people I grew up with think Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim. And, yes, it’s a time suck. And, yes, it always feels really self-indulgent. But mostly, I want to leave Facebook because FACEBOOK IS FUCKING EVIL. I mean, one story after another after another. Facebook is the birthplace of #fakenews. Facebook is the place of personal information being swapped for pennies. Facebook is the place where “free” really means “we will do with your existence as we please.”
And I’ve come to see that it’s all an addiction. You get on Facebook, you build up this profile, this personality, this routine, these friends—and you never want to leave. Hell, I use Facebook to track down sources, to locate those who vanished. It’s a useful tool.
But, ultimately, I want to get away.
I want to cut the addiction.
So, Amy, join Twitter …