Thinking of Leaving Facebook
There are lots of people on the Internet who have posted similar articles about their desire to leave the social networking monolith, probably because they are looking for some kind of legacy; a kind of “look at me! I did this years ago, look at the post date!” But not me, I am not looking for a legacy of any kind, nor am I posting this for your benefit. When I am trying to work something out, I write. The only reason I am posting it is because it might help you, but I don’t care whether it does or not.
Firstly, this is not a gesture. If I do decide to leave, it is not for political reasons, or as a result of the PLO. Nor is it due to a paranoia of surveillance, or being databased, after all, I am continuing to use WordPress, Flickr, RedBubble, Instagram (providing it doesn’t change too much) and, for the time being at least, Twitter.
Facebook doesn’t offer me, as a user, anything useful, and being free is not enough to forego it’s lack of actual use. I can see a use for Facebook, but only from a business point of view. It is, essentially, a giant register of potential customers. Their likes, dislikes, habits, political leanings etc, all gathered in one space for me to sift through and find the right people, near me, who I want to fleece. With a business head on, that’s great. With a user’s head on, that’s terrible. But even so, that’s still not the fundamental reason why I’m thinking about leaving. Facebook is boring. I have a relatively moderate number of friends on Facebook, but even with that number, I find myself hiding a lot of them because they just post crap: horoscopes, Daily Mail stories, cheesy photos of themselves after having had too much to drink. Invites to rubbish, pointless games where you have to tend to stupid digital sheep or crops. I’m sick of all of the advertising, all of the spam from apps I don’t even use, and all those stupid pictures of squirrels with a surprised look on their face, and something childish and incorrectly spelled, scrawled across the top and bottom of the image in white block text. I’m sick of all of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters, and links to the same 7 YouTube videos over and over again. I’m sick of seeing polls asking what my favourite condiment, or games console is, or who I think would win in a fight between Margaret Thatcher and Gob Bluth. Nobody cares, and anybody that does should be shot – although they would undoubtedly ask for the weapon of choice to be determined via a Facebook poll.
Facebook just doesn’t offer me anything that makes me want to stay; the only reason I stay is because it has become a habit. I wake up, I check Facebook. I have breakfast, a shower, I check Facebook. I listen to some music, play the PlayStation, go out and take some photos, come back and check Facebook. I watch TV with one eye on my iPhone checking Facebook. My whole family sits around the TV – TV on, blaring away – staring at our phones, checking Facebook. As much as I really didn’t want to liken Facebook to some kind of soul sucking deity, it really has become one.
There is an inherent irony here that is not lost on me. When I posted this, I still had (and may still do) a Facebook account, and I did link to this page on there. After all, how else is anyone going to find it?