So Long, and Thanks for All the Facebook
On the 1st of July 2016 I logged out of Facebook and stopped using it. It’s been a month now, and I’m pleased to be free of its grip.
I haven’t closed down my account, but I have finally managed to do what I was planning to do at the start of the year. Stop looking at FB.
Like giving up addictive foods, such as sugar, alcohol, bread, or coffee, I think the only relatively easy way is to do a clean 100% quit – not reducing, cutting down, or vaguely avoiding – a full quit, all or nothing.
Like the two men I sometimes see down at the shops, who each have their own side of the road that they patrol for used cigarette butts, I was starting to suspect that there was some element of an addiction going on.
Some people seem to be fine to just have a quick glance at it once in a while, but I seem to get drawn into it like a moth to a flame, and my time limits don’t seem to last long.
Another big reason for wanting to avoid Facebook is that it practices full blown censorship – just like Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia, Facebook is censoring and controlling what we see. For example, a huge slice of Facebook’s income comes from pharmaceutical companies, so it bans dietary supplements from its shopping system. No supplements are allowed whatsoever – not even vitamin C (We sell supplements and Vitamin C). So quitting Facebook is one of the ways I’m hopefully doing a tiny part to fight back against corporate censorship.
Starting the year with my “less use of FB” resolution, I was going to limit it to one visit per day for a maximum of 15 minutes. What I actually ended up doing (including all the time I spent looking at interesting links and videos that came up on my timeline) was two visits most days, for about 20 minutes each. (280 minutes per week) That’s more than 4 1/2 hours a week, which adds up to over 234 hours a year, or 29 eight hour days over a year. Holy crap. That is not really how I want to be using my time, and seeing it added up like that blew my mind.
It’s not like I was a big fan of FB – I wrote my original page about Facebook in 2011, and I thought I was fully aware of the dark side of FB. Seems not…
If you would like to keep in touch, please email me
One slight oversight about quitting was that I forgot that I don’t have current emails for all my friends on FB
It would have been good to message them before I quit, but I didn’t, and I’ve quit now. Whoops…
If you would like to stay in touch please email me on:
I don’t plan to send out a lot of random emails, because we are all pretty over being bombarded with bulk emails, but it’s still a good way to keep in touch.
So what do I plan to use instead?
First and foremost: email – it seems to have become a forgotten art, but communicating directly and personally by email can be very effective.
This gmail email is the one I share online because it includes an extra layer of filtering. Sorry, you will have to type it out because this is just an unlinked image, but I’m not keen to put even this email online as a live link.
Back when email was the first way most people communicated online, everyone used to complain what a time wasting pain in the arse it was. But now although about 99.99% of email sent to me is spam, the few real emails that make it through all my filters and end up in my inbox, are often things I actually want to see.
I’m not into texting or messaging, so for better or worse, email is it. (I use Outlook 2003, part of Office 2003, the last decent software Microsoft did, apart from Windows 7 in 2009)
Secondly Pinterest, which I find very useful as a sort of visual bookmarks system, and gallery of cool pictures. I’m not using Pinterest primarily as a public thing, and not all of my boards are visible – but 30 of them are – this is my Pinterest account
And I was still sharing some of my new photos on Instagram with FB so those still come through on my FB timeline.
BUT… Instagram went a step too far and so I quit using them as well. I was aware that Facebook bought them out in 2012 for $1 billion, and had then appointed themselves the legal owners of all images posted on the site, but was choosing to ignore the fact.
As of 2016 they totally screwed up the feed so that instead of it being a chronological feed of photos posted by the people you are following, it’s a damned algorithm that decides what you will see. Screw that, so my use of Instagram ended August 2016.
PPS. Although I had never heard of Steemit when I originally wrote this post, I later came to believe it’s was potentially the future of the internet. I used it a lot for two years, and a bit for a third – although it all turned out to be a big scam, I did make some friends, and also made a fair bit of money from cryptos. At my peak I was running four Steemit accounts. This was my first Steemit account
One of the first things I blogged on Steemit was a post about Steemit vs Facebook. Here is the post – it was very cool to see it earn me US$150 within a few hours. It’s safe to say hell will freeze over before Facebook ever pays anyone for a post.
New Zealand is currently rated world number one
In time spent on social media!
Maybe I’m just too offensive
To be honest I couldn’t keep up with who I was offending on FB.
About half of my FB friends never liked, commented, or posted anything at all – whether they ever looked at it I have no idea. (But some of the others posted some really cool stuff that I miss seeing)
Of the half that appeared to use it sometimes, some of them seemed to be broadly in agreement with most of the stuff I was posting and liking, but some seemed to take mortal offense at my views.
Just by liking the posts that I liked I was undoubtedly pissing off the people who disagreed with me.
So I was ending up with an increasing number of new friends I don’t actually know outside of FB, while some of the people I know in real life are no longer speaking to me.
One of them told me he would no longer have anything to do with me unless I changed my opinions. I’m slowly starting to grasp that all our opinions are pretty meaningless anyway, and not worth arguing over, but I still had to tell him that my opinions don’t work that way, and things ended at that point. (I’m not a politician)
Most of my problem opinions are outlined on this website – in fact this page right here summarises many of the contentious issues.