I never liked Facebook. I joined by accident. Someone contacted me asking about a pianist who played my music 30 years ago, and I looked her up and found a Facebook page. I had to join to see her page, and it turned out to be the wrong person anyway. I didn’t understand the privacy controls at first, and my Facebook page was a morass of conversations by people I’d mostly never heard of. I figured most of the people who wanted to friend me were musicians advertising their concerts and recordings, and I had no particular reason to turn anyone down. I have a phobia about crowds (I’ve always said that determined my choice of musical genre) and Facebook seemed like a virtual Chinatown. Then a couple of composers started a thread bewailing my malign influence on American music, and I was receiving notifications of each new insult. It was Christmas Eve, and so I joined the thread to post, “And a very merry Christmas to you gentlemen as well.” Then I went to Facebook (I just now typed “Fecabook” as a Freudian slip) and found the FAQ “How do I delete my Facebook page?”, which I thought it was interesting that that was a FAQ, and I followed directions. I’m happier. My e-mail in-box is far less cluttered, I have more spare time, and I was already the easiest person on the internet to contact via e-mail anyway.
But now I’m getting the occasional plaintive query from friends, “Why did you remove yourself from my Facebook friends?” Please know that you weren’t singled out. It was a grid that I never liked being on.