I have run my personal Facebook experiment and it is over. In January 2009, I opened an account because I wanted to see what a friend's girlfriend looked like. I stayed for way too long. It was like a crowded party with all these people I hadn't seen in a long time and it looked like so much fun.
At times it was fun. Then it wasn't so much fun. Then I got annoyed with all these high school and elementary school friends who kept tagging me in photos I wasn't really in and then they'd post comments to each other like "Remember that time down in the bowl when we broke all those branches off, but only Johnson got a pink slip from the yard duty?"
If I wanted to live in Walnut Creek, CA in 1977, I'd wear white shoes and a mullet haircut and I wouldn't be in Chicago focusing on 2010. But when I "un-friend" these people, they just send another "friend request." Why? Do they suddenly crave my approval or are they just trying to pull everyone possible into their friendweb?
I have my friends in real life, but was willing to see if Facebook would deepen or expand those friendships. It hasn't. My friends are still my friends and if I can only reach you through Facebook, then I don't know if that's really a friendship. My friends have come to my house and eaten my cooking and talk to me to my face (often loudly). I just don't have a strong connection to people who I have only ever communicated with on Facebook. In a year and a half, Facebook only got me in touch with two people I wouldn't have found any other way, which is very valuable to me, but I think the well is now dry. I'm done.
I'm also tired of a lot of the posts. Even though I'm one of the most self-absorbed people I know, even I'M fed up with the "Libby just made the perfect fried egg" level of revelation Facebook fosters. I'd rather blog. Blogs let you rant at length and encourage actual concentration. I appreciate the blog audience: people who aren't afraid of the commitment it takes to read several paragraphs in one sitting. We're a little more patient and a little more focused (and I realize there's overlap: people who Facebook and read blogs. I'm not disparaging you).
I'm coming back to my blog as the way I communicate with the world. I'm home.