People Leaving Facebook in Droves, Maybe you Should too?

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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.”

By Paul M. Banks
the_social_network_movie

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.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

 

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Comments

  1. I have no clue what kind of “bot” comment is listed above but i loved the article. Very well written. Gives me something to think about…not as soxman but as Bruce Parker. Also loved the Kittle Article! Which crosstown game were you at? You should have text me and we could’ve met up! Finally lets do a game soon. It has been to long. In absence of a TSB summit this year, I don’t want TBC to be the only time we see each other! — Soxman

  2. Thomas Allen says:

    FINALLY – Someone who understands why we don’t need Facebook. I was hitting it pretty hard for quite a while and then one day, I stopped, looked at the screen and said (out loud), “Who gives a shit?”, and logged off. It’s been 8 weeks now and, as you stated, my productivity (I’m an artist) has exploded.

    Oh, I tried quitting last summer and felt terribly guilty for ignoring people. Fortunately, I got over it. The sad thing is that my last post stated, “If anyone wishes to reach me, here’s my email address.” Out of 366 “friends”, I heard from 3!

    I was accessing Facebook from my laptop – that’s it. It’s the people with smart phones who really did it for me with posts like, “I’m camping and it’s pouring rain.” You’re NOT effing camping if you’re still tethered to civilization.

    The final relationship breaker for me was my career. I looked back at the last 3 years and tried to find one instance where Facebook furthered (or even tapped) my career and I couldn’t find a damned thing. If anything, it’s shown people who follow my work that I can be a sarcastic asshole. I prefer to let the mystery be from now on.

    So to everyone who’s ever wished happy birthday to their six-year-old, congratulated Tony winners, or ‘dared’ me to support breast cancer in my status update, I say to you, “Enough of this shit. Life is so much better when it’s spent with real people in the real world.”

  3. I wouldn’t say we don’t need Facebook. People are finding lost and old friends on FB, I’ve heard tens of these cases. BUt I quit 4 months ago. In a beginning of my ‘facebooking’ it was fun, later though, it got boring and finally – time sucking. So, I deactivated my account and stopped using FB for good. (I am just curious, why on FB I can not completely delete my profile, it is deactivated… OK, these are advantages I have gained since I left FB:
    * I’ve met MORE real people from real world in the last 4 months than hanging 3h on FB;
    * more time to get on activities that are truly funny;
    * I don’t bother myself with “what’s on FB now?” after wake up or returning from city.
    In fact, more free time is the biggest advantage. BTW, I tried to promote my business thru FB ads, very poor results comparing to Google adwords, I was shocked. I think Facebook as a ‘phenomenon’ has proved that our modern society is a bunch of timid souls, who are afraid to be natural and communicate naturally. And it sounds terrible when you hear young people saying this “I don’t have time for you now cause I’m on FB”.

  4. Yeah, pretty much a big time sink and we have little enough of it as is. Most people I know that still use it, use it ONLY for marketing/promotional activities, so, one big new flea market of ads, ads and more ads. Good times.

  5. Well this article was very enlightening, and the comments are very enlightening as well. The email address I provided is not my facebook email address, primarily because I enjoy my privacy for the most part lol. I couldn’t agree with this article any more than I do right now. This just confirmed my decision to escape the realm of facebook. I’ve probably logged on about 3 times in the past month. I’m an artists as well as someone else has stated and have found facebook has done little to nothing to improve my business. In the beginning it was fun, but now I find myself being bombarded with friend request because apparently I am somebody that several people may know just because I am friends with several of the artist in my city. I have thousands of friends that I’ve pointlessly added over the years and one day I realized…I don’t really give two shits about most of these people and they probably don’t give two shits about me. It is not as good a promotional tool as you would think, you’d be best served by going out into your community, starting your own website and utilizing media outlets like youtube and vimeo. I haven’t messed with Twitter too much but a lot of my true friends who have left facebook are suggesting it as an alternative. I really think I’m just burnt on social media. There’s nothing more fulfilling then actually living your life…social media is not living…it’s a sorry alternative to giving people a false sense of living. I could just be cynical but I had that moment where I logged on today for the first time in weeks, aside from a few messages and posting from my real friends all I saw were ignorant and lame postings, and tons of spam invites to go to clubs/events that I will probably never attend. I also couldn’t agree with you more regarding your statements about the people from high school. This was a very rich article.

  6. @Algis

    It’s really disturbing how something meant to foster social interaction is deteoriating people’s social skills. You can even probably say the same thing about texting. It forces people to be more mechanical and less human in their interaction.

    @Thomas Allen

    that doesn’t surprise me the 3/366. that’s probably 3 more than I would get hahahaha

  7. @Matt

    the other day a girl took a picture with me, posted it on facebook and said “you’re not on facebook anymore so I can’t tag you”
    then she showed me the other day how there were 45 comments, all from people I don’t know, just shooting the breeze. in convo that had nothing to do to with the pic.

    THANK GOD I’m not Facebook, cuz I would have 50 notifications to sort through that have nothing to do with me or the pic

  8. @C.W.

    great points there. Social Media is a sim life, or a virtual life. when you’re really living your life, you don’t have much time to tweet about it. You’re just living. That’s the way it should be

  9. I left a year and a half ago when I had the fifth person in four weeks say things to me or make comments on my status that I found confrontational or rude. The kind of things they would never say to my face. On my own home page. People who were supposed to be my “friends”. Screw that. If I want to feel bad about myself I can always call my ex-husband.

    I remember when I first joined years ago how fun it was to catch up with friends I had lost contact with when I moved. But then came the bullshit friend requests. People you only vaguely knew or who weren’t actually all that nice to you in real life. I always felt mean not accepting their requests as it felt rude but at the same time I didn’t want to give these assholes a window into my life. And then there was the hostile stranger who started out being friendly but quickly became aggressive and stalkerish. Good times on Facebook.

    Since leaving, the only people I have missed on FB were a few old friends that live in other parts of the country. I am much happier not hearing about all the people I went to school with, who were douches to me in real life, and how awesome their lives are.

    I have seen one FB friend at a funeral who told me he missed seeing updates about my son. Another person emailed me to say they miss my funny updates. Other than that, I don’t think any of my 440 “friends” even noticed when I left.

    And I know my husband is much happier not wondering what asshole is trying to get me to “hook-up” with them through FB. While he never worried about me straying, he always found it to be a personal affront that guys wouldn’t respect my relationship status.

    Now if only I could just quit the internet all together or at least reduce the number of hours I waste on it to only a couple hours a week….

  10. Excellent artical agree with every level discussed here. You are an honest person like it.

  11. Bill Dietrich says:

    Just about every item in the article can be addressed by culling your list of Friends in Facebook, or blocking messages from games and other apps. Easy.

    I’d like to get your feedback about a page I’ve created, about the good and bad features of Facebook and how they should improve it: http://www.billdietrich.me/Facebook.html

  12. marilyn regan says:

    i left because of the new timeline that they inpose on us which i dont like and didnt like and about the private issue and
    its goes live everyone will sees it and have access to it even people you dont know and im not intrested giving out my life story to anyone my life isnt a book so who needs it and i think they gone beyond the line this time.

  13. I personally cannot stand facebook for various reasons! I think it sucks the life out of you when your a stay at home army wife. Life became very boring and facebook became the new addiction to my day and I didn’t have any energy to want to do other things around me other than check facebook on the laptop and then check it again on my cell phone. In the mean time I forgot how important it was to just keep in touch with people regularly instead of proving to the world that I could be on facebook and pretty much live in a constant competition with my friends on there. It became all sorts of ridiculous when I not only saw the deceit from my very own friends starting to play out in their posts. They would lie about where they were for the day so their others friends wouldn’t get mad at them. It was a way to stalk someone you didn’t get along with for the week and trust me for every 1 person we know 6 people and those 6 people know 6 more people an so on so even when I had people I couldn’t stand BLOCKED from my account their was always ways for them to find out what was going on in my life with my kids, husband, friends, family,etc…. It became a extremely dangerous way for people who hated each other to throw really hurtful comments onto. I have seen people threaten others through facebook and almost get arrested for it, but not get charged for the things they were posting about killing others. It was like being in some giant clique that my closest family & friends would have to view comments from others comparing and trash talking at certain times. I had 191 friends and when I gave it up a month ago I only hear from maybe 10 to 15 of those 191 people! Hey whatever right lol. Life goes on and I get out and I am doing the housework and yardwork and keeping up with daily chores instead of sharing my every moment with the world on some stupid social network. Its more like Social Garbage!

  14. I too left Facebook just today. I am tired of it. What a complete waste of time, and some of the people I was on with never had anything to say – – Literally, nothing. I haven’t seen some of them for years, and quite honestly I would prefer to keep the special memories I had of high school just that and not let our differences now interfere with how I thought of them back then. I never bothered to stay in touch with very many people from college; either Undergrad or Grad School. I have Aspergers Syndrome, so it was an easy way for me to socialize, but where it went wrong is when people started competing and sharing unnecessary information (like what music they listen to, where they are at, etc.). And the pictures of the kids. Do they not know that everyone can’t have kids or may not even want kids either? Goodbye Facebook! I’ve got better things to do.

  15. I left Facebook quite some time ago because #1 it became incredily dull # 2 by the time i got to see my friends face to face at the weekend we had nothing to talk about because we had already “talked” on facebook all week and #3 i was getting friend confirmations from people i hadnt even requested! I also think it should be shut down, lets face it, Zuckerberg has made his billions and i’ve seen it damage certain peoples lives over the last few years.

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