So I finally got around to quitting facebook. I came to the HackerDojo tonight, and Waleed was working on sending out notifications for users of his app, because Facebook is disabling notifications as of March 1st.
Notifications was the way I was planning to announce my departure, because the "app" I created for that purpose would still be around after I deleted my account. But I was only able to send out a few of these notifications before facebook would not let me anymore.
But that wasn't going to stop me: so I made a status update - which contained essentially the same message:
Hey guys, as I alluded to in a status update a few weeks back: I'm leaving Facebook. This walled garden isn't the way the web was meant to be, and I *refuse* to continue participating in it. You can always find me by either searching for "Paul Ivanov", or through the various means listed [on my website](http://pirsquared.org/personal.html). best, -pi
And then I was off to "Deactivate" myself. Beware - Facebook will play on your heartstrings by telling you that a couple of your friends will miss you - putting their photos right there and beckoning you to message them - but I was prepared to deflect this Faustian bargain. Though after I said "yes, really", it asked me for my password, and following that also sent a CAPTCHA! ("the escapade" indeed!)
and then, just like that: POOF! I vanished. Without any trace. The fake temporary account I created had no friends - my last (and all) status updates lost in the ether (at least as far as facebook users are concerned). But rest assured that the data lingers - permenantly - as facebook was immediately suggesting that my new fake account, who now had no friends to speak of - connect with the people I had been friends with, even though my account was gone.
For most of my friends, I got your birthdays, schools and jobs, as well as the most recent photo, and all of the friend-to-friend connection among you. For most - I actually had a stale copy (of everything but the photos) from 2007, which when I originally wrote the export scripts I used, and Facebook was just starting to open up its API and quickly devolving to a MySpace clone. It's not like I even frequently used the site - but reading about this reminded me to quit for good.
So I finally did.