There's no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they've been with you through the ups and the downs. Following along and gazing at your life from a consistent vantage point. Allowing those around you to know where you’ve been and what you’re likely to be doing at 2pm on a Sunday.
In 2017, my Facebook profile has been a solid ally in combating this modern life, helping me to keep updated on the latest happenings with my close digital friends and people that I had a chance meeting with at 3am in some underground Bulgarian nightclub.
Yet, in this age of everything being at our own beck and call, there is power in saying no. In pushing past the urgent to the acts of actual importance. So I switched it off.
This was not meant to be a wider commentary on the state of Facebook as an offering, there was already plenty of that happening. Due to the nature of the beast each of their products is inherently powerful.
You only have to read Nir Eyal’s ‘Hooked’ to understand the deep psychological understanding that has been built at each layer. As they invest more heavily in the advances of artificial intelligence and machine learning the offers are bound to be even more fantastical in years to come. However, with these advancements an undertone has coagulated, that echoes the very famous adage ‘ if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product’.
My rational is more focused on trying to use products and services that I believed in. A layer of self awareness if you will. As my heart had never been the most invested in Facebook and my 286 digital friends was a distinct showcase of this.
It had instead been a layer of noise that comes with trying to fit in with the social sea of society of our present day.
As Meryl Streep so eloquently phrased 'I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant. But simply, because I’ve reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases or hurts me’ she was referencing people, yet the same sentiment can be applied to the rigid and inflexible service Facebook has cultivated with the filter bubbles it has had a hand in fostering.
So with the best of intentions, my Facebook profile needed to have a good send off. A send off, in the manner it deserved. In comparison to the click of a button that we often mark the closure of an intimately held accounts. To signify a loss whose significance most wouldn’t recognise until they tried to tag me in the future. To move past a strange new stillness — a foreign silence. As the machine that has been humming in the background will be suddenly switched off.
This is not to say the Facebook Funeral is a new concept. It is instead the best way for me to personally celebrate a digital persona that has been created, whilst also airing my own deep quandaries about the service.
Since, no one listens to you if you verbally have reservations. They say they do, but they really don’t. They’re just waiting for you to be quiet. And no one, can disagree with that before their own eyes.
If you want to complain, get to making or doing something. Don’t just speak.