Why I Fled Facebook

by Paul Krassner, February 16, 2011

I had no friends in high school and college, and now I have 5000+ Facebook friends. Maybe 25 of them are actual friends, so I assume that the rest of you like my work. And the irony is that I'm quitting Facebook because it's become a distraction from my work — what Ken Kesey would've called my “current obsession” — writing my first novel, about a contemporary Lenny Bruce-type performer.

I've truly appreciated your feedback, wit, imagina­tion, insight, information, arguments and compassion. Incidentally, my decision was made before my Facebook identity was hacked (through my own clueless moment) and thousands were spammed as a result. I apologize for that. Although I'm a professional prankster, this wasn't my prank, or it would've had a purpose beyond elec­tronic vandalism.

Recently, when I self-published an expanded edition of my autobiography, which is not available in book­stores, I felt that sharing and spreading an announcement of a link to its existence on my website was simultane­ously self-serving and other-serving; ideally, two sides of the same coin. I repeated it at different times of the day for a week because I wanted to reach as many people as possible.

Facebook has enabled communication to span the spectrum from the trivial (what someone vomited for breakfast) to the profound (an organizing tool for the revolution in Egypt), and I have conflicting emotions about leaving. I realize that this isn't exactly like Dave Chappelle leaving behind his successful Chappelle's Show and a $50-million development deal, but I do hope that you understand my priorities.

(Paul Krassner is the editor of The Realist. His books include: Pot Stories for the Soul, One Hand Jerking and Murder at the Conspiracy Convention. He can be reached through his website: http://paulkrassner.com/)

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