The message read:

Hi Bryce, we are headed your way and wondered if you are available. We would like to take you out to dinner… If you are available, we would love to see you.

My first cousin once-removed, whom I adore and rarely see because he and his family live on the other side of the continent, wrote this wonderful Facebook message to me with plenty of advance notice and chocked full of dates and details. Sadly, I didn’t get that message.

The message I actually got was an urgent email from my mother after my cousin’s family had arrived. Fortunately, we were able to meetup for dinner at a nice restaurant overlooking the bay, but it almost didn’t happen. Why didn’t I get the wonderful message from my relative?

I don’t actually use Facebook…

If you ask me why I don’t use Facebook, I’ll tell you its because I’m lazy. I’m honestly not upset at Facebook for their numerous privacy issues, security problems, or the way they collect all the intimate details of my life to sell advertisements to me. (Google does most or all of those things too, and I still use Gmail.)

For whatever reason, I just never got hooked by Facebook. I’ve spent countless at work making Like buttons work on various websites for whoever I happened to be working for at the time, or playing with the Facebook login features, or making the sharer.php endpoint work somewhere; but I’ve honestly never personally used Facebook for more than a week at a time.

…And I feel bad about not using Facebook…

I’ve almost definitely lost contact with a lot of friends and had near(?) misses with many friends and relatives because I don’t regularly check Facebook. I know that if I used Facebook more regularly, I would probably be a more well-adjusted, and socially engaged person. After having invested a lot of energy over the past 6 years to transition from the non-profit world into the tech industry, my social life feels pretty neglected. I’m really grateful to friends and relatives who’ve continued to stay in contact with me, and I want to maintain those relationships.

…But I’m realistically not going to use Facebook. Ever.

You know how you tell yourself, this time you’re really going to make going to the gym a habit? Yeah, that’s where my Facebook habit is at this point. If I’m being honest with myself, it’s just not going to happen – despite the million good reasons I want to use Facebook.

Breaking the Cycle of Failed Communication

If you send me message on Facebook, I won’t get a notification. So I won’t see your message, and I won’t write back to you. That seems pretty awful to me.

Since I want to actually stay in touch with you, I owe it to you to make sure I get your messages. Since Facebook isn’t sending me notifications in a place I look, and for realsies I’m not going to use Facebook at this point, it’s time to just delete my account.

Please DO contact me – just not on Facebook

I use email, Twitter, and Telegram on a daily basis. I’d love love love to hear from you, college friends and cousins.