February 21, 2019: Goodbye Facebook

Thursday. Warmer today, we are back into the high fifties. Today, Dominica and I decided to attempt starting diets. It’s time to do something healthy.

Dominica made breakfast while I got to work this morning. Then she ran to the pharmacy to pick up some batteries for our scale.

The girls got through school early today. They got started on the early side and were done pretty quickly.

This afternoon Dominica and the girls went to the Farmer’s Branch Public Library to hear a talk for kids on Ancient Egypt. Liesl enjoyed it, but it was too boring for Luciana. She was hoping for hands on crafts, but it was just a talk. Isabella and Juancho went, as well. So they had fun, it is just that Ciana was pretty bored.

After they got back and work was slow, Dominica and I did a walk to try to get back into the habit. Paul is getting a lot of walking in down in Colombia. He is going up and down hills like crazy in Medellin and getting a lot of exercise. We only did around twenty minutes. Just enough to qualify as some cardio.

Once we were back we worked on dinner. Dominica made calzones at home tonight. We had the dough from before the diet decision and it has to be eaten. So today’s diet was a pretty big struggle. But dinner was very tasty.

We watched a few episodes of The Golden Girls and then Brooklyn Nine Nine before Dominica went off to bed. I finished watching Yucatan finally. The girls were up watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 in their room. Liesl bought it with some of her Amazon gift card money from Christmas. Tomorrow they are going to the movie theatre with Isabella and Juancho to see How to Train Your Dragon 3.

I broke out my stair stepper from the garage tonight and used that a little, too. It actually fell apart on me, but I was able to reassemble it. Liesl thought that it was fun and tried it out as well.

I discovered late at night that my Facebook account is gone. I had noticed around the time that Dominica and I were taking our walk that all of my Facebook linked accounts had signed out, but I had assumed that it was just a general “sign out” thing for general security that you see happen once in a while and did not think anything of it. So I did not even try to sign back in until around eleven at night. When I did, I found that my account was actually removed and no longer existed. I filed an appeal but got the standard response that everyone on the Internet reports as gettings: that my account is not eligible for no stated reason, no warnings were given, no information can be given, and that no further contact or appeal is allowed. That’s it, closed without cause, end of story. So Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and who knows what else all just gone completely. Maybe my account was hacked, who knows. I checked my email accounts to verify that I hadn’t missed anything. But not only was there no warning to the account deletion (and I’ve had this account pretty much since the very beginning of Facebook), but there wasn’t any acknowledgement or notification, either. Total silence.

Downside is, of course, hundreds or thousands of contacts with people are just gone. Over a decade of communications are gone. But in other ways, it’s great. It was an awful service and never did things that I liked. None of the Facebook products were good to use. For the next several weeks I suspect that I will keep running into stupid little “oh no, that was linked to my Facebook” problems as I did actually use Facebook as a sign in for many things (a word of caution to anyone using Facebook as an authentication mechanism to other websites!!) But after a little bit of time, I’m sure that I will enjoy not having Facebook in my life. Much like Spiceworks which I felt that I could not leave voluntarily, having an absence from it that isn’t by choice is a very different matter. Instead of a grueling decision or someone feeling that I might be neglecting them, this is a chance to be rid of a service that I really did not like without any of the mental overhead of having chosen to abandon it. So I am looking on it as a blessing. Probably one caused by a combination of glitchy code with a callous corporate decision process, but most importantly, not one caused by me. So I need not feel badly about any of the results.

One thing that I did notice, beyond Facebook taking only minutes to respond to my ticket that there was no further recourse and that I would not be told why my account was gone, was that when I had first opened the ticket and they had only acknowledged the ticket but had not looked into it yet, they had “accidentally” already marked the ticket as “closed”. Which means that the automated system had already closed the ticket within seconds of it being created, without any person having been involved at any point. I’m assuming that the follow up message a few minutes later containing nothing but the identical form letter you see all over the Internet was automated and that there was no investigation whatsoever. The whole system was so fast, sterile, illogical, incorrect, and boilerplate that it seems almost certain that it is nothing but a facade and that no human is ever involved in the process and the entire thing is a farce to give people plausible doubt that someone might have actually verified it.

So that is that. That is why no one will be seeing me on Facebook and why anything that was connected to me there is just gone now. And why decades from now when my kids wonder why the expectation of years of events that could have been logged there do not exist that they can know why all of that isn’t there.