I read somewhere that it takes about six weeks to start getting over a breakup. I'm 10 days into mine, and I'm already feeling better. Another week or so, and I won't even remember what it was I loved so much.
I've bailed out of the social website, pulling the plug on my page and my 221 friends and all those carefully edited photos of my family and me. Technically, I've deactivated my account, and can come back whenever I want. We'll see how I do without it.
My friends know I used the site mostly like email, trading messages and chatting. Although some of my friends posted photos and ideas every day, I never found much to say or show, and so I'd check the page a few times a day to pick up my messages.
But something happened last week that made me question whether putting my name onto a public social forum is worth whatever connection or affirmation it might provide.
Googling my name one evening, I was linked to a website called Pick Deck. Clicking on it, I found my name emblazoned at the top of a page filled with book covers and product photos and other links.
This looked a lot like Pinterest, the web site that allows members to select the ideas and links that interest them and pin them on their page.
But Pick Deck didn't give me the option of choosing. Without my consent or knowledge, the site swiped my name and randomly selected books and products and ideas and assigned them to me, creating a false online persona for Beth Dolinar.
Pick Deck knows nothing about me. If it did, it would never have posted a half dozen crappy suspense novels, nor said I like to make blanket bunnies. I have nothing against blankets or bunnies, but really.
The last straw, though, was when I scrolled down to find a book called "Skinny Jeans" and a link to a psychic hotline.
Pick Deck is sneaky. If you read the fine print very carefully, you find that these items are just things that the site "suggests" I might like. I was invited to scroll over each item and click on the X to select it, or click "Pass." Problem is, the "Pass" option never appeared.
This is called negative option: in order to get my name the heck off this stupid site I had to ask them to remove it, in two emails pleading that they "Get me out of here."
I suspect Facebook has its finger in this, at least indirectly.
Without Facebook, I will miss seeing what people are up to-and there are a few friends with whom my only contact is through the site. Shame on us. I should call, or go see them.
But most of my closest friends and my family aren't on Facebook, and our relationships aren't any less close because of it. I keep track in other ways, dialing the phone or emailing -- there's a way to count heads without Facebook.
You know how at the beginning of a diet, it takes a few days for your stomach to shrink down a bit so you don't miss the food?
That's what these last 10 days have been like. I would get that craving to hook into that world, and I would sign on to Facebook and have a look. The urge is fading every day.
But I had to get back on briefly before writing this column to see how many friends I had. I took a peek at the newsfeed, and saw that another high school mom had posted a terrific photo of my son's football team storming the field. And I got a little hunger pang.
Maybe I'll be back some day, but for right now, life is full enough without it.
Beth Dolinar is a former Riverside resident and Pittsburgh television reporter who is staying at home to raise her two children. She can be reached at cootieJ@aol.com.