Footloose And Facebook-Free

Today is the day that my Facebook account info is permanently deleted. This ends my fourth and shortest round of Facebooking. And, dare I say, it is my final round. No more Zuckerberg productions for me.

I’m Done With That

I finally deleted my Facebook account back in April – 30 days ago. So I got the standard message informing me it would take that long to remove all traces of my digital existence from the social network. Except, of course, for my shadow profile. Right?

Actually, it would not surprise me if Facebook archived my stuff and did not truly delete it. Who knows what really happens? I can’t say I trust Facebook after more than a decade of privacy violations and such.

So how’s it been since I quit? Well, it’s not like I quit cold turkey. I had disengaged considerably since last December. By the time I nuked my Facebook account from orbit, I was pretty much over it. In the last 30 days, I have not missed Facebook one bit.

I really think I’m off Facebook for good and forever. And it really seems like that’s finally become more of a general trend. There a media reports every week against Facebook.

Divide And Conquer

One huge and excellent opinion piece was recently in the New York Times, written by Chris Hughes. It’s an authoritative summary of Facebook’s flaws and faults. And it’s an imperative call to change the way fractured Facebook is managed because of its ill-effects on our society and democracy.

In other words, there’s been so much smoke about Facebook, there must be a real fire there; it’s not a false alarm.

I still think Facebook is far too big and influential – powerful – to be under the total control of one idealistic person, who happens to be Mark Zuckerberg at the moment.

Do I think Facebook should be broken up? Yep, I do. If nothing else, I think Whatsapp and Instagram should be separated out and be on their own as they once were. But I admit that I don’t know what the best solution is to “fixing Facebook.”

The trouble is, I don’t think Mark Zuckerberg knows the solution either. And while it may be less than ideal to call on the US government to solve the social network, it seems to be the next best step at this point.

Too many seasons and scandals have passed under Zuckerberg’s watch; there must be a better watch. And it must be a group of people, not one person with majority shares.

Time will tell what happens. Facebook might limp on for a while. Either way, I’m running fine without it! We all can!

I like the way Kermit sang this wisdom,

Movin’ right along in search of good times and good news, With good friends you can’t lose.

Forget Facebook. We can have good times and good news without the Newsfeed. We have good friends we can’t lose even when we delete Facebook.

I say,

Movin’ right along, footloose and Facebook-free!

Are you going to delete Facebook? Why or why not? Comment below or message me. Nice to hear from you! Thanks for reading.

Finally Facebook Free

I guess I can keep this post simple: I deleted my Facebook account today. Finally.

Of course, I tweeted about this on the one social media (Twitter) platform I still have. Not sure how ironic that is, but anyways.

I blogged about my Facebook relationship being complicated, but I had no problem divorcing myself from it today.

In fact, after deleting the Facebook and Messenger apps from my phone and tablet back in December 2018, my activity on the site plummeted. I grew distant from it. So I had practically and emotionally started deleting Facebook; today was the final and official “nuke from orbit.” I deleted rather than deactivated.

On top of that, I already deleted my Instagram account in March.

So why did I delete it now? I had been leaning towards it for a good while, holding off any rash or emotional decision. But the most recent load of bad news about new and further privacy scandals and bad company practices in general pushed me over the edge.

I’ve simply had more than enough of anything associated with Mark Zuckerberg. No WhatsApp, no Facebook, no Instagram. I do not trust Zuckerberg and do not like his business practices.

Social media in general may not be worth what it costs on us as individuals or as a society. I don’t want to delve into the scary world of Surveillance Capitalism and The Attention Economy, so suffice to say that deleting Facebook is something I wish everyone would do.

At the very least, I hope my example will prevent my kids from ever wanting Facebook. My oldest son will turn 13 very soon, the age allowed to have a Facebook account; I will deter him from it.

I am not anti-social. I like sharing with friends and family, connecting and socializing on some level. We all do; humans are made to be relational (even us introverts).

Without Facebook, it is still easy enough to share pictures with my family and communicate with them! There are plenty of good apps, services, and other ways to stay in touch, each with pros and cons or trade-offs.

But Facebook is not worth it. Oversharing, a junky Newsfeed, addiction and distraction, uncomfortable friend requests, social anxiety, etc. These are personal reasons to quit Facebook in addition to the “global” reasons you’ve read about in the news since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, March 2018.

Here are some links to my past thoughts and actions regarding Facebook to give some more context to my final account deletion today.

All my posts about Social Media in general are here, just look for “Facebook” or other key words in the titles:

Social Media

Most relevant is my post from last year when I deleted my Facebook account before! The reasons there are still the same today but worse!

Why I Quit Facebook

A quick explanation why I rejoined Facebook last August after 4 months of being #Facebookfree: it was a moment of weakness, falling for the one good feature Facebook has that makes it so attractive and sticky. It has “all” my friends and family on it.

Literally, one big spark the reignited my Facebook relationship then was ( I kid you not) seeing, in a passing glance, the red notification icon on someone else’s Facebook app on their phone! That little red badge, designed to be addictive! Again, I’m being real here.

I have 30 days until my Facebook account is permanently deleted! I’ve already removed all links and purged my browser’s history from cookies and related stuff. I’m eager to have my hands cleansed from it.

I’m glad to finally be Facebook free, and I’m pretty sure I will not rejoin ever again.

Are you Facebook free? Think you might delete your account? Do it! Let me know in the comments below or email me. Love to hear from ya; thanks for reading!

My Facebook Relationship Is Complicated

As I sit here typing on my iPad, my thoughts spill over with uncertainty. I feel conflicted – over my Facebook account! This should not be. And you’re probably thinking, “Really!?”

I’m not being melodramatic. Yet where do I begin? How about we try to keep it simple. Simple is good, don’t you think?

Cyclical Relationship

Over the last 10 years, I’ve joined and deleted and rejoined Facebook (squeaky clean new account) too many times; I’m up to four I think. My latest cycle was last year. I quit Facebook in March 2018 then rejoined in August (4 months #facebookfree).

I’m on the downswing again with my finger hovering over the big red nuke button. Will I delete Facebook…once more?

The cyclical pattern is consistent:

First phase, I’m attracted to Facebook, sign up, and enjoy a honey-moon period, being more “social” than usual. Like I’m smitten with digital extroversion.

Phase two, the romance wears off. I become bored and use Facebook less, finding it distracting. Like a drug user who can’t keep using enough of the drug to get the buzz back.

Third phase, I grow more distanced. And at this point I become more deliberate against my Facebook account. I go from “non-use” to “anti-use.”

Finally, the relationship ends in divorce. I delete my account. Like I’ve said before, it’s a “nuke-from-orbit.

On a related note, I canceled a Facebook service last month when I deleted my Instagram account. And I already deleted the Facebook app from my phone and tablet last December.

Critical Thinking

To understand my circular pattern, I re-read my own posts from last year about quitting and rejoining Facebook. I try to make a rational decision, taking time before any “final” action. But, like any relationship, there’s an emotional part too.

Another part of this comes from being influenced by many sources online that spotlight Facebook’s formidable flaws. They make me think, “Staying on Facebook is totally bonkers!” When you focus on one negative thing a lot, it gets magnified.

Sometimes I think the pros of Facebook outweigh the cons. And other times I think the opposite. Facebook’s a roller coaster: fun at first, until it makes you puke.

One of my biggest problems with Facebook is the nature of the Newsfeed. Its design leads me to mindlessly scroll it in an addictive behavior pattern.

On top of that, the majority of the posts in my Newsfeed are junk. Its signal-to-noise ratio is bad; there’s too much noise.

Considering Options

At this point, my options are simple yet not easy: continue my very limited and controlled use of Facebook for its few small benefits. Or discontinue – delete – my account and risk repeating the cycle of re-joining later.

For now, I am holding-out. I will keep coasting with my account and not worry too much about it. I suppose I could just Deactivate it…

But if I can’t resist, so be it. I won’t worry about the cycle (that’s what I’ll keep telling myself). I’ll accept my account deletion and embrace/enjoy life off of Facebook (which I know first-hand works fine). And I’ll try to stay off for good and hope it sticks.

What do you say? Am I over-thinking it? Are you ever conflicted over your Facebook usage? Comment below or contact me; love hearing from ya.

Why I Quit Facebook

I quit Facebook. I chose the nuke from orbit option: deletion instead of deactivation. The recent Cambridge Analytica data exploit was the catalyst for my decision. But I had been wary of Facebook before and was already detaching from it.

Over my 9 years of friending, liking, and sharing, Facebook has been a mixed bag. I’ve enjoyed the positive things about it, but the negatives finally weighed enough for me to quit.

I still do social media–follow me on Twitter–but now I do less of it. Of course, I also deleted my Instagram account since it’s owned by Facebook. Now I plan to focus more on my blog…and my offline life.

So why did I quit Facebook? Of my many reasons, I’ll try to summarize only a few. Crack knuckles…begin!

Facebook neither protects your data nor respects your privacy

Facebook’s privacy mistakes and data sharing concerns have surfaced repeatedly throughout the years. It’s made me leary before. And now, the latest and greatest example is the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Altogether, it’s made me no longer trust Facebook.

Facebook is too addictive and manipulative

Facebook’s ability to keep our attention has been a growing concern over time; the pot seems to have boiled over. Tristan Harris and his site humanetech explain best, and my experience is like that of many. I’ve mindlessly scrolled the newsfeed and habitually checked for red circled notifications too much. I’ve written about it before: The End of Newsfeed Distraction and The Matrix of Social Media.

Facebook kills the open and indy web

Facebook’s ubiquity and utility make it a one-stop-shop; it tries to be everything to everyone. And under the pretense of privacy and security, it’s closed off–less so these days–from the rest of the internet. So most people stay on Facebook instead of visiting other websites and blogs. People once “surfed the web;” now they “scroll their feed.”

Facebook is too big and influential

Facebook has 2.2 billion members–more than the largest country in the world. This suggests great power requiring great responsibility. But I think for any one person, like founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, it is too much. The inherent risks are too great. And although being an influential and powerful agency, Facebook has been unregulated by any government and has proven unable or unwilling to regulate itself to any sufficient degree. Zuckerberg himself has shown reluctance to his assumed responsibilities.

Those are some of my reasons why I gained freedom from Facebook. Overall, I’m not totally against social media. It has pros and cons, and it affects people in different ways. But I think it would be good to re-evaluate the place of Facebook in your life and choose what’s best. Maybe you delete it or use it less. Or you could be good as is.

Have you thought about quitting Facebook before? What are some pros and cons of social media for you? Do you prefer Twitter over Facebook? Or Pinterest versus Instagram??

Let me know in the comments; I’d be glad to hear your input!