Six weeks ago I finally left Facebook for good after trying to leave on numerous prior occasions. Facebook does you no favors in their multi-step deactivation process, obviously intended to frustrate you into staying. But since deactivating my account, productivity for me and traffic for this website is WAY UP!
I’ve also spent a lot less time pseudo “socializing” online, and more time doing actual socializing in “real time.”
And I’m not alone in leaving the social network.
According to the Daily Mail:
“Fearing for their privacy or perhaps just bored with using the site, 100,000 Britons are said to have deactivated their accounts last month. And Facebook fatigue seems to be catching. Six million logged off for good in the U.S. too, figures show.”
According to Fox New York
Inside Facebook said overall growth at the social networking giant “has been lower than normal for the second month straight, which is unusual.”
I can’t reasonably say whether you should quit or not. That depends on your life circumstances and values. What I can tell you is why I left, and maybe some of these situations apply to you. If you’re someone who’s course in life has geographically separated you from your friends and family, then by all means Facebook is for you! It just doesn’t work for me.
Whenever anything gets to be TOO POPULAR, it doesn’t gel for me. I’ve never fit into a specific clique/group in my life. I never will, and after 33 years on this planet I’ve realized I actually don’t want to. To quote Whitesnake “like a drifter I was born to walk alone. And I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time.” (a White Sox fan quoting an ’80s hair metal band- yes, I know this does not help anything)
And most things that become obscenely popular both lack substance and are terrible for you (see Jersey Shore, Groupon, owning tiny dogs, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Dave Matthews Band, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, fake breasts, big box stores…must I go on?)
That said, let’s take a look at why Facebook and I are no longer “friends.”
I didn’t go to my 10 year high school reunion, I’m not going to my 20 year either
If I went to high school/college/MBA school with you but we are no longer in communication, I really could not give two shits about you or your personal and professional life. The natural order dictates that we know nothing about each other- let’s keep it that way. People drift apart for a reason, but Facebook breaks the laws of nature. ESPN Page 2 said it best:
“Facebook is for the people you know but wish you didn’t, Twitter is for the people you don’t know but wish you did.” If pills existed that would make me care even less about my former schoolmates, I would order my doctor to prescribe them.
Zero News Value
Twitter is the new Associated Press. Period. Everything breaks there first. Does it have lots of annoying/useless/trite “I ran 19 miles today” and “hey, just finished a tuna salad, now I’m going to the gym again” status updates? Yes it does, but it’s also much easier to sort through all the unoriginal crap to find news on Twitter than it is on Facebook. People do post interesting links on Facebook and it’s driven a lot of traffic to my site, but that is not worth all the drawbacks.
Too many kid pictures/updates
They should make a Facebook for just grandparents, since they’re the only ones who care about this stuff. I have 7 nieces and nephews that I love and care for. After all that, I don’t have time/energy to care about your kids, and guess what? None of your other friends do either. They just aren’t as blunt as I am. I care as much about your kid as I do about your: fantasy teams, recreational sports league record/stats and March Madness bracket; on a scale of 1-100 my interest in these things is negative 75.
Too many people I’ve met just once or never at all talking sports with me
I talk sports for a living, I don’t need to do it in my spare time. Ask any other member of the sports media industrial complex and he or she (99/100 it’s “he”) will tell you the same. If you’re going to comment on my articles that’s nice, but do it on this site- not on Facebook as that does nothing for me. And a lot of people commenting on sports probably didn’t even read the article, so thank you for wasting my time.
Too many single moms in other states hitting on me. Some with really bad “tramp stamps”
A couple years ago, Facebook became the new Myspace in that a lot of people you would never ever cross paths with in real life start interacting with you. Think of it like attending the auto show, or say you were an honor student in high school. Remember what gym or health class was like? In terms of the people you interact with versus those you interact with the rest of the day outside of that hour. If you’re getting this analogy by now, then you’re certainly not one of those people.
Moving on, my ego is healthy enough (my friends/family would say it’s too healthy) I don’t need to know that someone I’ll never meet in real life in another time zone is supposedly very attracted to me. Cuz in the end, what’s the point? Look at Anthony Weiner. He never actually physically touched any of those women, so why do cyber sex? The affirmation? I’ll take a pass.
Too many bored housewives hitting on me.
If you want to know why the divorce rate is north of 62%, let me show some of the texts/facebook messages I’ve received from married women in the past year. Sure, some of them have said these very inappropriate things to me in real life, but they get their starting material from Facebook. It’s where they used to keep tabs on me before I quit.
Some guys use Facebook to meet girls and hook-up. More power to you, go nuts, have fun. I think it blocks you. We all know that cliche, as true as it is, women go for the guy who’s not trying. We’ve all heard women say about men they’re attracted to “he’s so mysterious.” Well, you can’t be mysterious when all this info about yourself is readily available. If it seems like I’m leaving Facebook because I’m single, then I must bring up 2009. I had a live-in girlfriend that year and I rarely, if ever logged in to Facebook during that time. Granted she was more high maintenance than most, and sucked up all my time…but…well let’s move on.
Yes, this is the age of over-sharing. And everyone who does social media is at least a little bit narcissist and egomaniac. So we can all afford to cut back.
Losers with nothing to do IMing me/Privacy issues/Spammers/People trying to make me join their worthless groups
I think it’s time to move on the conclusion, I’ve said enough.
We all loved “The Social Network;” it was a great movie. And I greatly enjoyed the Facebook documentary special on CNBC and the pages I’ve read so far in “The Facebook Effect.” It’s the book the movie was based on. Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, Sean Parker, Eduardo Saverin and the rest of the Facebook founders achieved greatness by what they started here. It’s a phenomenally transcendent media business story that has made all of them OBSCENELY WEALTHY.
They truly are revolutionaries in communications technology and entrepreneurship.
It’s just that from a user end perspective, Facebook improves my social and professional life about as much as a pile of dogshit.