Avoiding facebook

February 01, 2020 | Filed under: personal development

As an advertiser for my games, I like facebook. Its targeting is very easy to use, and very effective. That might sound sinister, in a ‘cambridge analytica‘ way, but I’m not harvesting anything dodgy or being cynical, just showing ads for my PC strategy games to… people who have tagged pc strategy games as interest, and who speak a language my games are translated into, and who live in a country where people tend to buy online games. That works quite well.

In theory, I like facebook. What a great way to stay in touch with people! and because I try not to fly much, staying in touch with friends I have in different countries is especially nice. Its cool to see people celebrating cool stuff they are doing, its great to get a different viewpoint on the things happening around the world. So easy to share holiday snaps, or opinions on the latest movie etc.

But facebook have fucked it up.

I’d happily pay $80 a year to be a ‘member’ or ‘subscriber’ to facebook, but this is not an option. If you can’t see the product, YOU are the product, and we all know that facebook is VERY into collecting data on us, and storing it, and monetizing it. This goes on to an incredibly invasive and sinister degree.

Image result for facebook memes

TBH I have the same feelings about youtube. Its like I find myself having to think ‘do I REALLY want to watch this video, and have similar videos spammed at me for the next six months?’ every time I click on a youtube thumbnail. I’m all for curating the experience to match my tastes but jeez… back off a little and don’t seem to obsessive and creepy ffs.

I’m not a full-on tinfoil hat wearing 9-11 was an inside job conspiracy theorist kind of dude, but I do find it really sinister how much information these tech companies have on me, and their casual approach to letting us know what they are up to. A recent example is avast. Who would have though you couldn’t trust an antivirus company eh?. /sarcasm Oh and the irony… that avast link is a new website with 21 (yes TWENTY ONE) tracking cookies on it…ffs.

So I decided recently I had enough of facebook, after being dragged into an argument with a swarm of likely fossil-fuel-company hired shills trying to argue that people were ‘demonizing carbon dioxide’ and that there was a CO2 shortage, and we would kill plants if we stopped emitting it from cars… FFS.

(another exciting facebook post everyone needed to see!)

I still use facebook for business, and have pages for each of my games, and a bunch of local friends contact me through it (basically people in my village my age or older), so I’m not deleting my profile, but I ditched half my friends, deleted every ‘like’ I could, left every group, and started systematically deleting all my posts. (Facebook makes that close to impossible BTW…and I’m not kidding myself they are really deleted either).

BTW one thing that I think is worth mentioning which isn’t conspiracy or liberty-related, but is another good reason to quit facebook, is that it essentially kills conversation. When you meet up, in real-life with your friends, you are drained of any real ‘news’ or opinions. Everybody knows what you have done, where you went, what you did, and how you feel. Why bother?

“Hey I went to Boston recently on holiday”

“Yes we know. we saw all the videos, and pictures, and check-ins, and status updates…”

“…*silence*…”

Quitting facebook means I’m *more* keen to see my friends, not less, because we can ‘catch up’. Thats great. I’m as nerdy an introvert-programmer as the next sheldon cooper, but we are still apes, and underneath it all, we still want to physically meet up for our own mental health.

7 Responses to “Avoiding facebook”

  1. Arm says:

    I quit all my social media years ago. It took some time to get used to not constantly checking my feeds, but now I don’t miss it at all, even though people give me weird looks when I tell them that I’m not on social media.

    The “catch up” point was one of the big reasons I decided to quit. I feel it’s a good thing to lose touch with and reconnect with people. Just like you said, not being in constant communication gives you something to talk about if/when you do meet an old friend. It gives you the ability to reflect on how much they have or haven’t changed. It’s a good thing!

  2. Steven says:

    I quit using Facebook and Instagram the other day and got weird reactions from people at work. It’s like they think I’m lesser just because I don’t use social media as much as they do. I got rid of it because there isn’t anyone on these platforms that I really want to talk to regularly using them. Seeing all their posts just makes using it more painful because it’s not a replacement for actually seeing them to talk about what’s going on in their lives. It’s all so confusing and very depressing.

    • Steven says:

      My comment was quite depressing but all I ever used Facebook for was an expedient way to log in to websites. I had literally no other reason to be on there. For some reason it’s just painful. It has been since I began using it in college and it’s the reason I’m ditching it again. Time and time again I’ve been lured back to it for logging onto websites and even thought I might do something more with it but I think it’s wiser now to just make my own log in for sites or use something other than Facebook. If people want to know how I’m doing they can call or text me or I might give them a call.

      I might need a new hobby, like the amateur (ham) radio. Maybe that will be better than being online all the time. And then there’s the written word which no one can see unless I let them because it’s not typed. It’s handwritten pen and paper.

  3. Terne says:

    The last thing you mentioned reminds me of Monday mornings in school. It was always a surprise to see the state of the class. Kids came with casts, went to the zoo, grandmothers died and it was always a surprise. These days kids are up to date minute to minute and it saddens me in a way that they don’t have the surprise of Monday mornings any longer.

    On YouTube: I hate video recommendations. I never sign in to YouTube so it’s easy for me to website settings and block cookies specifically for YouTube, so I always get YouTube according to its own algorithm instead of mine. Not perfect but it’s something.

  4. Digidang says:

    I also quit Facebook not long ago. I found other social media platforms much easier to use and also more active. What other social media platforms do you use?

  5. owen says:

    I swear people who post stuff on fb do not want anyone to reply in any significant way. they just post stuff to seem interesting. but on the flip side of the equation when they DO post something that warrants discussion it is only because they expect everyone to agree on a generally agreed topic. So you have these shallow posts everyday because the users are trapped in this cycle where they post stuff that they think everyone will like because they have no other way to reach out to their friends.

  6. Progorion says:

    If Facebook wasn’t important because of my music or games then I could have been deleted it years ago. I had serious issues with it back then (I mean addiction…). Luckily now I barely use it, but messenger is still important to keep in touch with people – yes especially with those who live in other countries.

    As long as your blog exists, I’m happy about whatever you do with your social media :)