Last night I finally — permanently — deleted my Facebook account.1
Wait, come back! This won’t be one of those overwrought Medium posts reeking of sophomoric self-satisfaction where the meaning of life is explained by some 23-yr-old web designer whose biggest life challenge so far has been remembering to pay their student loans. I’m not trying to be any kind of valley startup buddha.
This post will only have the faint aroma of my own modest self-satisfaction. Come on, you can stand it for a couple minutes.
There are two types of people in this world, those who can code and— what? OK, OK, just kidding.
Why would I quit Facebook? The short answer is that it doesn’t make me feel good any more. It hasn’t for a long time. I’ve tried to quit a couple of times, only to be jerked back by the necessity of having it for work or “keeping in touch”.
Well, the hell with all that. I finally managed to create a business account that lets me deal with the pages I admin (a couple for work and the page for this site).2
I’m not advocating anybody else quit Facebook, but here’s why I am:
I hate the fact that there exists this micro-history of my life over a big chunk of the last decade. It’s unnatural. What good purpose does it serve? It makes me feel uncomfortable.
Ads. Ads everywhere. Crappy “shareable” content (I’m looking at you, Best Vines) that’s really just clickbait. Facebook is like a bowl of Cheerios where you’ve eaten most of the cereal but you oversplashed with the milk. The milk is sour, and it represents all the fluff that you scroll through to get to genuine unique content. Which is…
…not all that good, when you examine it. This probably puts me in an unpopular position, but I dislike all the “Happy Birthdays” and “I love my partner” posts. People mean well, sure, but it just feels… wrong. There is an uncomfortably fine line between a public display of your love for someone and fishing for likes. What is a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook worth? About the same as one of those promotional tokens that you snipped off the back of aforementioned box of Cheerios.3 It’s a self-congratulatory, exhibitionist culture of low-quality, high-quantity communication.
Those are the big reasons. All of these added up over time to make me feel that every moment I spent on Facebook was wasted. These are not the halcyon college days, and I do not have time to waste.
The one hole left by Facebook — sharing pictures with family and friends — has been very adequately filled by Glassboard.
So. If you’re a friend who’s wondering where I’ve gone, please feel free to drop me a line. I reply to email.
Otherwise… so long, suckers!
I have to wait fourteen days before they’ll believe me and totally nuke it, though. ↩
This sounds like I had some big psychological barrier in place — actually Facebook had a bug that prevented creation of these accounts. ↩
I’ve seen people write “hb” on someone’s wall. Really. To my mind that’s worth less than saying nothing at all. ↩
Published on October 19th, 2013