I committed Facebook suicide this week. Goodbye to my 600 "friends". Goodbye to poking and status updates and "liking" things and virtual birthday cakes. Goodbye to finding out who had lamb chops for dinner with mint pesto, who was watching The Wire or nursing a hangover.

Yes, I know, how could I bear to give up this riveting commentary? It wasn't easy. Even "de-activating" my Facebook account - I couldn't work out how to permanently delete it - involved justifying myself to the Palo Alto heavies. Was I leaving because I felt unsafe? Or because I was worried about privacy? Because I had another account or felt I was spending too much time on Facebook? I ticked "other". But then I was not allowed to deactivate my account unless I specified what my "other" reason was. If I didn't feel like decamping from the social network before, I certainly did now; this was a dysfunctional relationship.

My reason: I "dislike" Facebook. I think it has become too powerful and its arrogance is scary. I don't like the way Facebook owns the photos I put on it. I don't feel it is a force for good. I am bemused at how I ended up there, frankly, since I am not generally a group-joiner. But the decision to split was a naked cost-benefit analysis. What Facebook took in time and energy was not offset in rewards.

There are some friends I will miss. I can always send them a cruddy old email. Will I regret leaving? Maybe, but not so far. It has given me more time for other things. Like reading. And pondering whether there is really such a word as "aspirational". The Oxford English Dictionary online, getting jiggy wi' it these days, says it is the adjectival form of aspiration, "a hope or ambition." Aspirational is a word much loved by the National Government. I like it too. But I am not sure I know what it entails.

One thing I do know is, being rich ain't what it used to be. I am not sure young people really aspire to wealth anymore. When I was a kid you aspired to getting money so you could come home in a Mercedes and show off to your mum that you had "made it". But that was when there was no easy credit. These days flash cars mean diddly-squat. People can be driving Maseratis and living in fancy digs and it is all a crock. The most aspirational sort of rich is being Allan Hubbard-cool and driving an old VW. That signals you have made it so comprehensively you don't need to flash it around.

I guess the aspirational dream these days for young nippers is for fame and glory. But nothing worth having is ever easy. And even notoriety is too easily come by these days to be truly covetable. My prediction is that the really rare attributes - being courageous, selfless and loyal and showing all the old Victorian strengths of character - will be back in fashion soon. They are much harder to come by than all the Lamborghinis and "It" bags in the world. But you certainly don't cultivate the really important virtues by sitting around gasbagging on Facebook.

dhc@deborahhillcone.com