Bye Facebook. Why Tho

Bye bye bye.

Because I want to.

Because I'm tired of banging my head against the wall of the echo chamber hoping that something I post will spark an honest conversation.

It doesn't bring any value to my life anymore, and whether or not it ever did is debatable.

I find myself judging people more than I already do, which isn't something I'm OK with and which is also something I'm actively working on changing about myself.

Somehow, many of my friends in real life are totally different on Facebook and I don't like seeing that side of them: the Keyboard Warrior. That's not a good look for anyone, and it feels strange to encounter that behavior from people I think I know, in a different context from which I would normally interact with them.

Facebook is a very interesting idea. I don't feel like commenting on whether or not it is a good idea, but it is interesting. All the social media platforms I've used are interesting ideas. I don't think any of them are going to work out the way the founders envisioned, primarily because the founders are (at least in interviews and on the record) thinking of their platforms idealistically. These platforms give everyone a voice, which is respectable but also results in, well, everyone having a voice. Some people don't seem to know the mic is hot.

The primary emotions I feel when using Facebook are:

  • anger
  • sadness
  • jealousy
  • anxiety
  • helplessness
  • superiority
  • cynicism

I rarely feel joy, I rarely laugh, I rarely feel a sense of community. I think lots of people on Facebook do feel those things, and that's great, but my ratios of good feelings to bad feelings are definitely tilted toward the latter.

I will miss Events. That, in my opinion, is the best feature of Facebook. It's nearly perfect. I've tried Evite and Paperless Post and other free alternatives, and it's just not the same. Unless of course you're trying to invite people via their spam folder, in which case those are all fine solutions.

The most alarming thing about Facebook for me has been the proliferation of misinformation. It was bad enough during the last election, but with the advent of hopefully the only pandemic I'll experience in my lifetime it has become truly unbearable. It is soul-destroying to see the amount of people who are being misinformed, mislead, or confused by the conflicting reports of what is going on in the world today. I'm truly sad for anyone that uses Facebook as a primary source of information. It is, of course, understandable to rely on alternate sources considering the bias of mainstream news networks and the absolute incompetence of our government. I just think Facebook is the worst alternative source of all the options for reasons too numerous to bother listing here.

I won't be deleting my account or completely abandoning the platform. Some of the work I do requires me to at least have an account to monitor ad spend and activity on a few Facebook Pages. I will still check the disc golf groups to see if there are tournaments or new courses or updated course conditions. Every now and again I'm sure someone will send me something via Messenger that I will begrudgingly check while wondering aloud why we can't just email each other. But it won't be on my phone. Comments will land nowhere and I won't be notified of them. I won't Like things, and I won't Poke anyone (can you still do that? That was fun.).

In case anyone cares, I'll still be posting pictures of my food on Instagram. I'll tweet every now and again, probably while I'm pooping. I'll use Twitter to follow people that have something helpful to say. I'll connect with people on Instagram that post pictures of things that make me happy, because I view Instagram as a sugary sweet Internet treat, and anyone that uses it differently can just hush (ie I'll just unfollow you, nothing personal). I'll keep writing my email newsletters (this one and this one) because I enjoy doing it; if you read those, thanks, but it's a totally selfish endeavor that I do 100% for my own practice at writing and for the enjoyment of making a thing. I'll continue to get what I consider to be relevant news from an ever-changing cocktail of my favorite email newsletters and Reddit. And I'll keep reading books and having conversations in real life with anyone who will talk to me. And, hopefully, my outlook on life will be a little less negative and I'll have a few extra minutes per day to spend doing something that matters.

Edit 2022: nope left Insta too and only follow snarky nerds on Twitter. Whoops.