Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Facebook no more

At 10:00 am, on January 13, 2009, my Facebook account entitled "Erik R. Fleming" ceased to exist. All 4, 530 of my friends, consisting of family, classmates, supporters, political colleagues, celebrities and athletes that I admired, were all wiped away with the stroke of an administrator key. It is like I never existed.

Gone are the daily interactions with people from all over the world that commented on my Twitter status or my Notes. Gone are all the fun applications that people signed me up on. Gone is the crusade I had started to eliminate the tax on overtime pay in America.

It had been a great ride from May 2008 when a lady named Nancy Lockhart introduced me to Facebook. Facebook had been the primary social network for college students and teens for years. Now it has evolved into a network of 161 million users, well, 160,999,999 users as of today, ranging from the rich and famous to old classmates hooking back up after 25 years.
I met my current wife, Gina Turner Fleming, on Facebook. When I read her writings and saw her lovely smile, I knew she would be a special part of my life. And the cool thing was she requested to be my friend, since she had been voting for me in previous elections. She was glad to know that I was an African-American, and that I was single. She was one of my first friends on Facebook and now she is my soul mate for all eternity.

It was an important tool to use during the election cycle of 2008 and will play more of a role in upcoming elections. Already three of the candidates for the mayor of Jackson, MS have set up Facebook pages. My Facebook page was a way to connect with people that may have never heard of me otherwise and vice verse. Citizens of all political philosophies were able to ask me questions about the political process that they may not have been able to have answered by anyone else because they did not have that same accessibility. That opportunity is now lost.

To those people who had accepted my friend requests, I would like to say thank you. To those who sought me out, I enjoyed being your friend.

Now all this may sound melodramatic considering that I can probably start another account, like this afternoon, but that time from May 2008 to this morning is lost forever. I am fortunate that my real life, and the memories it holds, cannot be snuffed out as easily as my virtual one.