I've finally taken the decision to deactivate my Facebook and it's like having a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. What started off five years ago as a way of keeping in touch with my long lost cousin, turned into an absolute nightmare of backstabbing, jealousy, obsessiveness, exclusion and paranoia. I could (and just might) write a book on my experiences, all concerning people I hadn't known before 'meeting' them on the site. Some I ended up meeting in 'real life', others remained hundreds or thousands of miles away, yet somehow in my living room.
The site began by devouring huge amounts of time, spent posting Youtube music videos, playing online games and 'liking' things on other people's pages. That progressed to flirting, clandestine meetings and stormy encounters, culminating in group exclusion, 'friends' taking sides and ultimately online stalking and lost sleep. The ease of access to the 'delete' button means that Facebook can swiftly degenerate into something slightly less mature than a kids playground, triggering depression and all manner of social demons. At it's worst it became a black hole, sucking in my free time, my emotions and what often felt like my sanity. Every bit as addictive as any drug, I struggled to break free, but like a car crash, it kept drawing me back in. Until now. This time I'm staying away and getting a life. If any of the above sounds familiar to you, I'd advise you to leave now. I'm very glad I did.