About a month ago I closed my Facebook account. After spending months thinking about it while always wasting time checking it throughout the day (for what, I don’t know), I decided it was time to close it. I tried digital sabbaticals and it wasn’t enough — so now it’s gone. And what I have I missed ever since I did?
I no longer hear from someone I once knew in 8th grade about their child’s first poop in the toilet. I am no longer bombarded with Farmville requests, Mafia Wars invites, or unknowingly (and without permission) tagged in someone’s terribly embarrassing photo album from college. I no longer have to be a “fan” of something in order to read an article. I no longer have to watch as people I really don’t know update me with ground-breakingly important status updates like “Going to the mall!” or “Loving these new socks!” or “I hate my haircut.” It’s all a waste of time and I am done with it; I have better things to do with any free time I do have to myself. Want to cut out the clutter and the fat and live simply? Get rid of Facebook. It’s amazing how freeing it is and just how much of your time it takes up.
Facebook is designed (and free for you to use because of it) to be a narcissistic website which uses your personal information in order to market and sell stuff to you. Email lists, contacts, “Likes”, photographs — all of this is being used by Facebook and marketers in order to learn more about you… and then to try to get you to buy stuff. Add in the fact that Facebook shares your home numbers, email addresses, home addresses, spouses name, children’s names, etc. with the rest of the world, and, well, any sense of privacy you think you have doesn’t exist.
Don’t get me wrong — I truly enjoy hearing from those who read my websites the same as I hope the authors of the sites I read enjoy hearing from me. But Facebook isn’t real, it’s not honest, it’s not a good use of time. I found myself checking it off and on all day long, only to find out that someone named Joey had a salad for lunch. That doesn’t make Joey my friend; it makes him someone who is sucking time and energy right out of my life.
I talk to my real life friends in my real life. I correspond with blog readers either through the comment sections or via email. But Facebook? It’s filled with 99% nonsense that I have to weed through to find the 1% of good stuff. My Simple.Organized.Life. is going to be without the filler and only with the good stuff. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the noise which is filling up social media like I am, I suggest taking a break (or a permanent vacation from) Facebook. It’s amazing what you don’t miss at all and all that you gain back.
Want to get in touch? Want to be friends? Shoot me an email or leave a comment; let’s have a real conversation. Goodbye Facebook — it’s been “fun.”
I completely Agree with you David.. This is how, millions of people wasting their time.
And even if one thinks they aren’t collecting everything, they are… and it’s being used against you by marketers. Thanks for the comment Andrew.
Ah, but those are all things that get you outdoors, educated, or talking to actual people. FB keeps many people sitting inside on the couch instead of participating in real life. 🙂
If you think those security settings are failsafe, I have a bridge to sell you. 🙂
FB can and does. It may not be visible to your friends from high school, but if you gave any of it to FB, they have it and they use it.
It’s very strange indeed. I would never tell people that they are stupid for continuing to use FB, but yet people think it’s ok to call me stupid for not using it. Some days it’s like talking to a wall. 🙂
Actually, I just applied every principle to my FB account — I got rid of it. 🙂
I dropped off Facebook a year ago. I don’t miss it.
I love finding others who feel as I do. I’m getting ready to pull the trigger on my FB page also. This was refreshing. Thanks.
I blame the user. You choose what your Facebook experience will be. I live in a major city, and Facebook has been another tool that helps me stay connected to my neighborhood. With RSS, mailing lists, blogs and Twitter, Facebook is just another tool and only good if you use it properly. The Events feature is particularly useful, for discovering and organizing local events.
I understand because it excludes the Facebook but I do not think I would have the same courage. Facebook holds us much but is a great source of disclosure. Most of my readers come from there.
Great post. I do find it inspiring in my quest to simplify my life. I can see quitting Twitter, but not Facebook just yet, because I do communicate with family on it. A few months ago I “unfriended” everyone but family, so I’ve simplified it way down but still use it.
I’ve had a blog for years but my family doesn’t really want to comment on it online. They seem to like FB, so I’ll keep it for now. I may really quit Twitter now. The people I follow are bloggers, and I already subscribe to their blogs using Google Reader. For me, Twitter is more trouble than it’s worth.
I hear that quitting facebook is the new “killing your television.”
I de-activated my account about 3 weeks ago just for an extended break. I had a lot to think about *my* own situation so I didn’t want to clutter my thoughts with others status updates. I’ll probably re-activate my account down the line – I have close friends & family overseas that only like FB as their form of getting in touch. When I do re-activate my account, I’ll start by looking at my “Friends” list and doing a major cull. All the games & requests etc have already been blocked but I made the mistake of liking a LOT of pages so I get updates from those everyday so I have to block those too. Someday… I’m not ready to go back yet. They can call me if they URGENTLY need to get in touch with me.
Great, GREAT post. Thank you for sharing. I quit FB also, and never looked back.
I see Facebook change how friends/family are starting to relate to one another on more meaningful levels. Facebook can, and often does, represent the bare minimum effort one can bother to make to still be ‘friends’ with someone. Facebook is supposed to make us feel closer to other people, but instead, Facebook was starting to make me feel more alone.
Facebook essentially gives you the emotional sense that you’re doing something worthwhile (i.e. connecting with people), but when you step back and look at your actions and results from a more objective perspective, it becomes clear that you’re really just spinning your wheels. You can call it social networking, but it’s not really a social experience if you’re actually alone sitting at a computer. Real socialization is face to face.
Hey there, I came across your site literally hours ago, and I’m hooked! I was searching in google “how to be organized” when your site popped out, and I’m glad it did. You have some practical information that add up to my knowledge regarding living “simply.” My life recently has been filled with clutter and I’m having a hard time getting rid of unnecessary baggages. Anyway, it’s funny how in the past hour, we already have 3 things in common, 1. Wants to live a simple and organized life 2. Read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now 3. Doesn’t worship facebook.
I”ll be glad to hear a reply from you.
Spot on! Thank you so much for making me feel at home. I have been a dedicated facebooker since 2007, and decided out before it swallowed more precious years and opportunities. I just deactivated my two accounts a couple of days back and pray it is permanent. Ever since I got hooked to Fb, I have abandoned and lost complete interest in my phd thesis, actual social functions not to mention a weird numbness and multiple depressive episodes.
I truly wish to connect to other people like me who are undergoing so to speak rehab, or detox from a very cluttered virtual space where ample possibilities are no different from zero possibilities. I am craving for a simpler, better managed life/time. I would really love to reconnect with my academic world, albeit still connect with family and friends.
Thank you so much for your inspiring note
I agree with this article completely and have more viewpoints.
When I started Facebook I ended up getting a high school reunion I could have done with out and old relationships. Suddenly I became this angry, profane, irritable,person I didn’t know. It’s funny how this happened to me.
Typing, texting and twittering is so cold and impersonal. First to get what you need to say out you have to long on some site or phone and go through the hassles of typing all the words letters emoticons which is adds more stress unless you find this process fun. Sometimes there are times you have to like be “there” to see emotions instead of trying to imagine how the person’s face look or wonder if the persons crying or what.
If you are a typical, sociable, popular, normal, person and those who have lots events in their lives this is a good thing most times. if you are opposite of these and want to talk about something outside of everyday life or what you did today Facebook is not for you. You’ll be typing in vain and you’ll be “talking to a digital silicon wall” or ending up in some useless group or page. It’s also common to have something you say/do/have something negative happening to you get likes. And don’t forget the viruses and hackers out there!
Love Facebook or Hate It!
I have thought of quitting FB but it does have some benefits. I share pics with family and friends and once I’ve uploaded them, I am not so worried if one of the hard drives I have them stored on crash and poof, they’re all gone (that has happened to me). I realize there are other photo storing sites but FB is easy. It’s also how I get to see instant pics of my grandkids. I think I am ready to scale it way way back though, maybe only check it once a day and then eventually once a week..baby steps. I have also had some of the foreign exchange students whom I hosted 20+ years ago reconnect with me via Facebook which has been fabulous. I do see it as a time sucker though. I find I can sit down for a quick glance and 3 hours later I’m still sitting here, not getting anything accomplished like quilting, sewing, etc. Yes, you have inspired me to become a FB minimalist. Thank you for your excellent post.
my facebook update 2013
I was thinking to close my FB account for the next year.
Hey, found your article as part of my research in the process of resurrecting my dormant blog and writing a post about checking out of Facebook. Funny how the time to pick up on my blog again exactly coincided with the moment I decided to stop wasting my writing efforts on FB posts. You are absolutely right that some kind of narcissistic gratification is at the core of FB’s appeal, while its purpose is to take advantage of that compulsive over-sharing of opinion in order to sell you shit you, literally, can’t fucking resist. It’s only been a few days since I removed FB and its evil spawn, Messenger, from my phone and already I am happier, calmer, more productive. No need to have my mood spoiled by the random discovery that a guy I had a crush on in 8th grade grew up to be a white supremacist or, arguably worse, a #blacklivesmatter agent provocateur. Isn’t there an old saying that went “it’s none of my business what you think”? If so, didn’t it mean that there’s a certain social order that is maintained by people being somewhat contained about their private views? Not that I’m advocating repression or phoniness. In fact, I’m a big proponent of “radical honesty” which promotes not lying in order to be perceived as polite. Nevertheless, it used to be possible to go through life without ever discovering that disturbing dietary fictions ruled the entire life of someone I quite enjoyed going to yoga class with. It used to be possible to exchange contact information with a new friend without being rewarded by a flood of images of animal vivisection or soppy tributes to dead pop stars one never liked in the first place. I tried to control the flow of information and notifications and all that shite on FB but there were too many glitches and it always ended up disturbing me with unwanted pings from Messenger or the idiotic political statements of people who hadn’t read a book since the turn of the century, no matter how I tried to get it to behave and only appear when I summoned it. In the end, though I haven’t yet disabled my account (there are a few international contacts I need to get email or hey, maybe even “snail mail” addresses for before I totally pull the plug), I did publicly announce – on Facebook – that I was making my final post and would henceforth only occasionally check private messages from my laptop. I would be way too ashamed to go back on that and so I feel pretty safe in affirming, again publicly, that I am done with Facebook. It was great when it was a way to do mass party invites or share pictures with those who were at the same event, but it became a way for people to bully those with views different from their own, a way for people to seek validation by either adopting conventional views, hiding their own, or posting innocuous pictures of cute cats. The twin diseases of narcissism and exhibitionism are the blight of our modern decayed civilization and things like Facebook feed those flames like fat on coals. Thanks for this article. Check my link in a day or so for my finished piece. xoox
I have not had your problem. Maybe its because I kept nearly everything about me private or only with friends. I don’t use facebook to post every aspect of my life. I don’t even check it much more then maybe once a week. There are some things that I like about it, but I’m not a slave to the “thumbs up”, “thumbs down”, not even to the emoticons. Maybe it’s because I have 5 email addresses and I use one of them as a catchall for crap. I dump the inbox once a quarter just to keep the email active but I never use it for any kind of real communication. If I really want to keep in touch, I provide a different email to the person. Family gets one of my emails, Legal correspondents get another, and so on This keeps important communications open and easy to follow.
Facebook does get your profile out there if your looking for work and it provides a way to track down some of those old boy/girl friends that helped shape your life into what you have become. Facebook has it’s place, but like many other things many of us have let it become our dictator as opposed to a convenience. Example, the phone doesn’t tell me to answer it, I answer it when I WANT to, otherwise it can ring on and on for all I care.
Thank you for this intersteristing article. It is nice to know that i ain’t the only one who had difficulties dealing with fb. I deactivated my fb account, but i still use my fb messenger (I was soo happy when this became possible).
I believe, social media is not for me.. particulary, instagram and fb (news feed). . I easily get myself into the loop of seeing the “pretty happy lucky” life photos posted in Facebook, even though I know that it could even be different in reality.
I still reactivate my Facebook sometimes as I really get curious about what some of my college friends or previous colleague/s are up to. Well, I end up seeing what I do not have. Even before facebook became popular, I was already struggling in building up my self confidence. Then internet shops and fb users started to be in every corner of the street.
It took me some time to realize that i must be careful on how I perceive the mechanisms in fb (e.g. like (unlike) and now love responce to posts is just a click away). In real life, I’ve been trying to not always think of what people think of me, if I did something people won’t like.. if i offended somebody .. so I had or still have the tendency to place much importance on how many liked my photo etc.
But now, after months (if not a year) of trying to avoid fb, I get to feel more focused on my life. I get to be less distracted in trying to move forward (e.g. Prepare motivational letter or essay for a masters program instead of feeling sorry that I don’t have one while my college friends already had one or are now staring phd).
Well, last month, I activated my fb account, where I saw a previous classmate start to get more fit. Well, when we were younger, she lost weight with less effort than I do. For a day, I was feeling sad.. then it started running. My goal is not to compare myself with others, but to compare myself from the person I was yesterday. It sounds cliche, but this does save me from hours and days and weeks of feeling low.
This time, I’ll try again not to activate my Facebook (newsfeed). Unlike others,. I am not psychologically/ emotionally fit for it. .. I get to contact those who are important in my life through its messenger app and that is enough for me 🙂
we have lives now – it’s not all about Facebook! 🙂
I felt the same way and that’s why I’ve switched over to Togbok.com
You cannot sign on with any other apps, and there are no ads, they did away with all the negativity and bad stuff, get your privacy back ,get a fresh start.
Never had one!😊 I told my wife she’d have plenty of time to do that while rotting away in a nursing home!! c’mon people wake up and spend time with your children or spouse!!!