In November, 2021, I announced that I was deleting my Facebook account and explained why, saying in part:

My decision has nothing to do with the corporate name change to Meta. Rather, it’s about Facebook’s role as the number one spreader of disinformation worldwide. That’s different from misinformation, which can sometimes be attributed to mere mistakes. Disinformation, on the other hand, is the willful dissemination of purposely incorrect statements, memes, and stories in order to further an agenda — lies about the 2020 election, lies about the 1/6 insurrection, lies about the efficacy of vaccines, and pretty much every conspiracy theory ever conceived.

That’s nowhere near a comprehensive list of the evil Facebook has done. Tack on the free platform it offers for spreading hate, racism, anti-Semitism, white nationalism, and other forms of extremism. And the negative impact doing so has had on politics not just in the USA but around the world. And the harm Facebook and its subsidiaries continue do to the self-image of teenage girls.

But lately, a couple of life events have caused me to wonder if I should reconsider that move.

Don’t get me wrong. I still think Mark Zuckerberg and his associates are responsible for a lot of bad in this world. But while I’ve remained on my own site and continue to create content regularly, not being on Facebook has meant being disconnected from a lot of old friends, acquaintances, and extended family members I otherwise have no contact with.

The most recent example came this week when an old friend named John died after suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for several years. He and I spoke a couple of times a year, most recently in December. He was hanging in there at the time, but I know from my father’s fight with a neurodegenerative disease how quickly those types of health issues can grow much worse, and there’s no stopping them.

My friendship with John went back more than three decades to my years in Washington, DC, where we shared a lot of lunches and brunches and Friday night poker home games. His son, Scott, created the original logo for HarrisOnline in the mid-1990s. After I retired from my radio career, John became my venture capital guru as I segued into working with a local accelerator program as a mentor for young entrepreneurs, helping them hone their pitches to try to get early-stage funding for their startups. Whenever I called John for advice or to discuss the companies in my cohorts, he was always interested, ready with answers and stories about his own experience — as well as cautionary messages about the speed bumps of the business.

After that phase of my life wound down, John and I still kept in touch. Invariably, the conversation turned to his favorite topic: his kids and grandchildren. I hope they all grow up knowing what a good friend he was to so many of us.

If it weren’t for another old friend, Andrew, seeing a post on Facebook from John’s daughter, I would never have known he was gone. That’s one of the reasons I’ve begun to reconsider my decision and might re-emerge with a new account. I’m not quite ready to do so, but may get there soon, before I lose even more old friends.