I use Facebook every day. I use it to talk with friends, get updates on school and social activities, and I use it as a source of news. Facebook has, in other words, become a key element in my everyday life and in the way that I communicate with my surroundings. The social media platform has incorporated itself into my daily routine, and I’ve come to think of it as a little thing like brushing my teeth.
Though, as the latest news break on Facebook’s cooperation with Cambridge Analytica, I’ve come to be more aware of my presence on social media. The illusion is broken and it no longer seems like an innocent flight into a virtual reality where I can get updates from old friends and family members. The site has become a battlefield of personal information, and I feel lost as to see what is dangerous to share and write. Therefore, I find following the trending hashtag #deletefacebook appealing.
Delete. Erase. Forget.
It’s an easy process to just delete one’s presence in this fake online world. With just a click of the button, it could all be over and my recent worries can disappear – or what?
Because as easy as it may seem, I find it hard to actually navigate myself towards the function of deleting my facebook account. I feel like it’s a part of me, however silly it may seem. Having had Facebook for over ten years, the site and all that comes with it has been a part of my life for over ⅓ of it. Facebook was with me through high school and university. It was with me while I was on exchange and during my sabbatical. It was the place where I could store my memories in pictures, posts, and new friendships. It was a place where I could get updates on movies, politics, and upcoming events. It was a haven for procrastination and a source of information. Perhaps it is not all these things to me today, but it still stands as a symbol of time, and as a companion in my youth. So why erase it and pretend it’s never been?
Despite its loss of innocence, I don’t think the time has come to abandon the ship, but rather acknowledge that we too are not pure and that we must be more reflective on our online actions. What Facebook did and does is not okay. But it is as much our own naivety that has blinded us from what has been happening for years. Facebook is the deceiving friend who has only been telling us half the truth. Yet we’ve remained to stay friends – and loyal friends. Therefore, I find it challenging to say goodbye to a long-term friend who, despite their flaws, still made a positive mark on my life.
To delete or not to delete – that is the question.