I deleted my facebook account this month. Here’s an explanation as to why.
For the past, oh, three or four years, I’ve been a Facebook user. I became great at building networks using both Facebook and Twitter – nay, a marketing expert – and wrote many a diatribe on how to most effectively use advertising on that medium.
But over the past few years, I’ve also found myself getting increasingly disgruntled. Not with Facebook itself, though its many failures and changes and glitches and bugs had me irritated enough; but with my network. And my network is literally my entire real life friendship base.
Having been threatening for years, literally, to delete my account, I finally held true and did it. The only thing holding me back was administering the page for Metal as Fuck. Once I handed that over to the buyers, it was literally a matter of time until I was gone. The thing that spurred me on a bit more quickly was that my darling fiancee also decided enough was enough and got rid of his.
For all of its purported ‘community creation’ and ‘networking’ and other feel good shit, Facebook is really creating divided communities. I have friends who get angry, depressed, unreasonably upset – all because of actions of others online. It happens to them on forums and bulletin boards, but most especially on Facebook.
Facebook is now the centre of most conversations: in simple catch-ups with friends, in group catch-ups at the pub. When you want to have good chats with people, somehow it always comes back to Facebook.
People no longer want to communicate in real life. Instead of sending an SMS or an email, they want to send it to you via Facebook. I find that this is simply lazy. It has nothing to do with convenience (you have to find a computer or a smartphone to login to Facebook and communicate there), and everything to do with the fact that it perceived as the common communicative medium. It’s easier (and probably, in the long-run, cheaper) to send an SMS quickly, than it is to spend the time on Facebook.
A great many ills can be attributed to Facebook. In point of fact, a friend of a friend who works in a school has said that every major issue in the school now comes back, in some way, to Facebook. Every major behavioural problem stems originally from that “social” network.
This isn’t a good thing.
And so, finding myself more and more irritated with these people I considered friends, and unable to delete them lest they get angsty, I deleted myself. Years ago, when I found that mass media was affecting me in a similar way, I threw out my telly, and stopped looking at newspapers.
In the same way, deleting your Facebook account is the modern way to good mental health.
Once you’re rid of it, you’re free to live your own life. You don’t worry about what a couple of hundred other people are doing all day. You work more effectively, because you’re not tempted to spend idle moments gazing at a screen, and refreshing it continually. You’re not reacting all the time – let’s face it, Facebook is a reactionary medium – and can rest properly. Your emotional levels calm down, and suddenly you feel like a great weight has lifted from your shoulders.
Getting rid of Facebook doesn’t mean that I’ve gotten away from social networks in general. I’m still on Twitter. My photos are over at Flickr. My writing is here. As far as social networks go, I prefer to be on Twitter, because it’s a conversation. I can dip in and out as I like. People worry about you when you’re offline for an unspecified period of time. I don’t feel the need to keep checking it, like I did with Facebook. It is actually a community, whereas Facebook is a parade of individuals competing for attention; usually by moaning, whingeing, posting angst.
I don’t need other people’s angst, I work myself up enough as it is.
Hence, I encourage you all to join the Great Facebook Exodus. It’s possibly the best thing you’ll ever do.