Back in late August or early September, Facebook for whatever reason decided that I was 12 years old and no longer eligible for a Facebook account. To resolve this issue Facebook asked me to take a photo of my driver’s license, or passport with my birthday visible and email it to Facebook support. This was never going to happen. Based on previous data breaches that Facebook has experienced in the past, I said “nope” and decided to wait until my birthday in January thinking that Facebook would simply reset the clock and realize I was now 13.
The thinking was my birthday would roll around, Facebook would think I’m a year older and wham bam I’d be back in business. Turns out this was not the case. Instead, Facebook said I had waited too long to reactivate my account or send in proof of my age and my account had been permanently disabled. OK, so I no longer have an account. What are the options? I can contact support and supply a photo of my ID and ask to be reinstated. I can open a new account and rising from the ashes like a phoenix make friend requests and start the Facebook journey again, or I could simply walk away and be done with it. I chose to walk away.
I have now been off of Facebook for more than 6 months, and I couldn’t be happier. While I still have an Instagram account, my posts get deleted after 7 days, so nothing lives longer than a week. Something I’m perfectly fine with. I was never a Twitter user to speak of. Same with LinkedIn. This blog automatically posts to both, but I’m lucky if I get more than a dozen engagements on Twitter, probably because I don’t retweet, comment, lie, share, or anything else on the platform. LinkedIn fairs a bit better with each blog post averaging about 100 views. Once again it could be better, but I don’t spend enough time engaging with others on the platform to extend my audience and reach and I’m OK with that.
At this point, I have absolutely no desire to become a Facebook member again. I have no plans to increase my social media presence on other platforms and have decided to go back to an old-school way of communicating with people. I’ve decided to start writing letters. Actual physical correspondences that I send out in the mail with an envelope and a stamp, that take days to arrive and may never get a response.
I used to be good about writing them. Finding clever and unique ways to craft and send a letter to someone. Once I wrote a letter on the individual cigarettes in a Marlboro pack. Each one was numbered, and each cigarette contained one sentence. There was a note that slipped into the cellophane wrapper telling the recipient to smoke the cigarettes when they were finished reading to destroy the evidence. I hope they did.
There is something about having to slow down and take the time to think about the words you use. The sentence structure. How to embellish with illustrations, photographs, or design work that once again I’m finding quite appealing. Maybe it’s an outcome of a year-long pandemic and the isolation that so many of us have experienced. Either way, I’ve been slowly receding from social media for some time starting a few years back. Here’s to something slower and hopefully more engaging for whoever receives a letter from me.
If I have your address, consider yourself warned.