Declaring Facebook bankruptcy

In 2004, Internet legal eagle Lawrence Lessig hit upon a novel means of dealing with an increasingly unmanageable email load. He declared “email bankruptcy,” letting his correspondents know that he was becoming buried under a load of messages in his inbox, and that if something was truly pressing they should resend it, as he was going to delete all unread messages in order to get some breathing room.

I know the feeling. I'm pretty good at keeping my inbox clean, but since my wife's mother fell and was hospitalized at the beginning of February, my wife and I have been kept busier than ever seeing to her needs, and as a result I've been slowly accumulating a variety of “requests” in my Facebook account. Anyone who's been on Facebook knows what I'm talking about—“Kidnap” requests, Starbucks requests, snowball fight requests, etc. Unfortunately, my online time has been more limited than usual, and quite honestly when I do get the time I'm more likely to want to spend it working in my own garden (i.e., my own homepage/blog) rather than in someone else's (such as Facebook). After all, I own what's on my own page, whereas Facebook is increasingly asserting control over whatever is uploaded to their servers. This is not to say there's anything wrong with spending time on Facebook if you enjoy it, but when time runs short, there are decisions to be made.

Therefore, I'm declaring “Facebook bankruptcy.” I apologize in advance to anyone who feels slighted by this, but there's simply no way I'm going to have the time to answer all the various requests that have been accumulating. You're all wonderful people, and I like you, but my time is in short supply right now (he said, looking at the pile of unwashed laundry) . I'm sure you know how it is.

Furthermore, I'm going to be taking a little break from Facebook, starting now and lasting until Pascha (Orthodox Easter), on April 19. As we enter the period of Great Lent (which starts a week from today), it's appropriate to take a step back from one's usual activities to focus on other matters, and I intend to do just that to the extent that I can. I'll also be reducing my activity on my own blog and on Twitter. Just letting you know—it's nothing personal. I am, of course, always available via email, and if you're a friend you have the relevant address.

Meanwhile, I wish all of you the very best, and a blessed Lent for my Christian friends. I'll see you in April—and you're all cordially invited to join me at the midnight Pascha service at St. Herman's Orthodox Church in Oxnard, California. :-