I finally got around to it. My Facebook account has been marked for deletion, and it’s staying that way. I’d previously been convinced to keep it active by my wife, who was concerned about losing touch with more (physically) distant family; though neither of us posted any family photos, or shared anything of any consequence. I only rarely posted, and even then usually only to highlight the latest breach and promote privacy friendly alternatives for IM, email, search, browsing etc.Tonight it really hit me, though. What am I missing? Anyone who cares enough about me/us to stay in touch has easy access to my phone number and my GPG key, and they can email me (or text, Signal, iMessage…) at least as easily as they could launch a website, log in and then navigate to ‘my’ wall and post something. With me away from Facebook, they can all easily still exchange family photos and arrange meetings etc. About the only thing that *would* be missing is the banal posts like “Here’s my lunch”, “The funniest video you just won’t believe and 10 other facts” and occasional “I’m fuming/distraught/crying but don’t want to talk about it on here…” (“You OK hun? Inbox me…”). Nobody bothers to text or email those things so that’s all I’d miss out on, right? Like that’s a bad thing?!So I sent out a group message to all those I’d actually care to keep in touch with, and didn’t have other contact details for (old friends/acquaintances, distant family). I only had 60ish friends on FB anyway, by design – and not all were on my message list when I left. Within seconds 60% of them had read the message… Funny, nobody seems to contact me on there or in real life, but a trackable message is sent and they’ve all seen it within seconds. Hmm. In my message I briefly outlined my reasons for deleting the account (hoping to nudge one or two others to do the same), and left my phone number and email with an expressed wish to stay in touch with those people. Heck, they all know where we live and my door is always open too.An hour later and I’ve had one (ONE!) text message from one of the recipients asking me to save their phone number. Seems I’m not missing out on anything to the degree I (or, more accurately, my wife) feared. I’m not a horrible person, honest – but clearly these people don’t consider me with the same priority I afforded to them. Downloading my Facebook data before closing the account was insightful – barely a few posts in a year onto my wall from ‘friends’ and ‘famiy’, but many from me to them. Their (and Facebook’s) loss, and one less data-mining millstone around my neck.TLDR: I finally ditched Facebook and realised I didn’t really have a need to keep it around so long anyway. There are other, more real life ways to stay in contact with people who care – and none of them involve handing over every facet of my personal data, my photos, my family’s photos, my location and messenger history, and my mobile/cell number to an American corporation that only cares for what pieces of me it can sell. I feel better now. Maybe you would, too – if you haven’t already.