There are pros and cons to using Facebook, and I simply felt the cons were winning out. I deleted my personal account yesterday and won’t be back. The main issue for me (and I realize this does not apply to everybody) is that Facebook became a stupid time-suck for me and there was very little quality content in my feed to justify spending any time on there, let alone the 30 min+ I was logging daily. I’d compare the Facebook feed to junk food. I was just scrolling endlessly and not being mentally or spiritually nourished at all. So I’d scroll some more.
The recent privacy issues played a small part, too. It’s no secret that Facebook sells our data, and like any free service on the web, the users of the platform and all their data are the actual bread and butter of the company. I started to feel like a stooge, and I think Zuckerberg is making things even worse. He’s made it a point to apologize in the press (like here), but why is he trying to reach users through newspaper ads when he could much more easily (and inexpensively) post his apology directly in our feeds? Does Zuckerberg really want users to know that the UK company Cambridge Analytica likely used data from over 50 million users in attempts to sway the 2016 election? Not really. Zuckerberg is doing the minimum damage control necessary to not upset users, who I think have a right to know how their data is being misused. Not just users that also happen to read the New York Times. So really, it’s not the data breach that upsets me. It’s how Facebook is handling it.
On a totally different tack, I’m anticipating a change in the way I view friendships in the coming weeks. I will no longer be half-invested in mostly minor life events of 700 people I only interact with via Facebook. I expect that I’ll find myself investing more of my attention and energy in the relationships I have off Facebook. Before I quit FB I exchanged contact info with a few friends in the interest of keeping in touch off the platform, and I extend the offer to you as well. Drop me a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and say hi! If you find yourself in Chicago be sure to hit me up.