I had been thinking about it for a while.
On Yom Kippur, it crossed my mind a number of times.
However, it wasn’t until this morning that I finally made the move.
This morning, someone mentioned to me that somebody was impersonating me and attempting to contact people on Facebook using my name and picture.
I had no idea what to do.
I did what any person over 60 would do, I contacted someone under 30.
Truth be told, I cannot explain properly why I thought I ever “needed” Facebook.
A couple of years back, a few friends told me that with Facebook I would have more visibility and would, therefore, have more opportunities to spread Torah.
I acceded to their requests and opened a Facebook account.
Since that time I was more of a non-user than a user.
Nevertheless, I always felt somewhat uneasy about being part of the social media scene.
When the individual contacted me this morning to inform me that someone was using my identity to convince people to reveal their personal information, I knew immediately what I had to do.
I quickly contacted the under thirty person and instructed him to delete, excise, expunge and eliminate any “Zecher” of me from Facebook.
Why did I have to wait until I felt violated to cancel this silliness?
The social media giant has nothing to do with anyone’s “faces’, in fact, it’s appeal comes from the fact that its users are able to hide behind their anonymity.
Its also nothing at all like a book.
There is no plot, no characters, and no literary value.
Facebook is really “fakebook”.
By why then does Facebook claim that it has more than 2.3 billion monthly active users as of December 2018?
Why do 2.3 billion people all over the world find the need to use Facebook?
There are many reasons and I am not going to list them.
However, one of the main reasons is people’s insatiable need for approval.
Social scientists have found that the approval of our peers is the most potent reward you can give a human being.
Social media platforms take our love for this kind of approval and exploit it.
When you used to share a story with a group of friends in the days before social media, you might not know exactly what they thought of it. You had to watch their real faces.
But these days we get a count. We can see, “oh, 10 friends liked that article I shared, but the one I shared yesterday got 70 likes.”
We have quantified social feedback now in a way that never existed before.
This exploitation of our genuine need for sincere validation through the false validation of social media can only be detrimental to our entire society.
Researches of the social media forum known as “Twitter” have discovered that tweets which contained emotional words such as hate, war, punish, destroy…not to mention words which I would never allow to see the light of day in The Short Vort– are the ones which get re-tweeted the most.
This means that the cruelest, outlandish and salacious comments on social media are the ones that give the user the greatest amount of recognition.
This is terrible for society at large.
I am glad that I was finally motivated to take the vow of abstinence and leave Facebook.
I just keep wondering why I joined it in the first place?
I won’t have the “likes”, the “thumb ups” and the “shares” anymore.
But at least I’ll know that when people do take the time to read my writings, and they want to show their approval they will have to write to me or tell me in person.
Goodbye to Fakebook and hello to people’s real faces.