I’ve given up Facebook … again.
More specifically, I have given up on Facebook.
I deleted my profile (the second time since I joined in 2006 or 2007). Why? Three reasons actually:
1. Their Stance on Privacy
Recently, Facebook has suffered one privacy blow after another. The information of millions of users have been exposed repeatedly. Facebook arrogantly brushes off these data breaches and generally buries them in a busy newsday, nearly guaranteeing the vast number of their billions of users will be unaware of the issue. Their blog (which you can find here) usually downplays the significance of such privacy violations by using words such as, “some”, “a small amount”, or “a limited set of users” – oh, that sounds pretty harmless, right?
Well, not if you are one of the hundreds of millions of users whose data has been found sitting unprotected.
2. A Total Lack of Joy
In late 2018 and much of 2019, I’ve been thinking about how I spend my time. Because of my profession, I spend a lot of time online. This, naturally, bleeds over to my “off hours” as well. When Apple introduced their Screen Time feature, I was shocked at the number of hours I spent looking at that tiny screen. That was on top of the hours spent looking at my laptop in the office.
I started thinking about what was I getting in the transaction? What was the payoff for my time?
The popular Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has obviously struck a chord with a lot of people. If you are not familiar, the premise is simple: clear out the clutter and focus on what brings you joy.
Facebook was not bringing me joy.
If you’re interested, some other resources that heavily influenced my decision to drop most social media include:
- Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
- 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You
- Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less -and Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined
- Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude
3. I’m Done Being Their Product
As I’ve said before, if you are using a product for free, you are not the are the product. Facebook makes its money (last year alone) from selling access to users. This comes in various forms, most prominent is by selling access to advertisers. If you have ever created a Facebook ad, you know how powerful their targeting options are. They can even target based on intent. Do you intend to buy a new car? Facebook sells that access to you based on the massive amounts of data and information they collect and store about you.
I don’t want to be their product anymore. I am done being sold.
These three reasons play into each other, the fact that I am getting zero joy from a platform that is selling access to me with little to no regard for my privacy – I’ve had enough.
The “connection” is not worth it.
That’s why I gave up Facebook – and I encourage you to think of your own reasons for staying or leaving.