Last night I finally did it. I felt instantaneously relieved. The weight of managing my personal Facebook page, as well as two Business pages was lifted off of my shoulders. I took a deep breath, clicked and deactivated my Facebook account. Ok ok, I haven't fully deleted it yet, but old habits die hard, and baby steps are often easier to manage than cold turkey. Plus, Facebook makes it difficult to actually delete your account. I will get to that soon....
Here are five reasons I am deciding to leave Facebook behind :
1. Managing my Information Consumption.
Facebook is stacked with advertisements. There are ads on the side bar and ads in the newsfeed. There are also tons of suggestions of pages to like and people to follow and even follow up emails in case I missed something. There is too much auxiliary information delivered alongside my 20 rotating friend's status updates to make Facebook worthwhile. I am generally not a fan of websites that have advertisements. I see eliminating Facebook as a positive step toward having a healthier, more relaxed mind. Managing my information consumption is a lot like a commitment to eating healthfully, in order to be successful at it, I have to cut out the junk food. Fb definitely falls into the junk food category.
2. I don't agree with Facebook's Terms & Conditions (even though I clicked 'agree').
The news dropped a few days ago that Facebook did a psychological experiment on about 700,000 of its users back in 2012. They manipulated newsfeed algorithms so that certain users would see more positive posts and certain users would see more negative ones to see what effect it would have on their psychology. THAT'S MESSED UP! Of course, it's not at all surprising that Facebook would do such a thing but it begs the question, what else are they up to? What other terms and conditions have I unknowingly agreed to? Was I part of a science experiment? Could it have affected my wellbeing? Since I don't agree with the terms and conditions, I have two options: 1. I can stay with Facebook and continue to get upset when I find out about their covert shenanigans, or 2. I can move on, protect myself from here on out and be done with their nonsense. Today I am feeling empowered and choosing option 2.
3. More space and time for real life human friends.
Sounds simple and straightforward, but even though we can all see through the 'friend' terminology on Facebook, it is still incredibly misleading. If I take a step back, it so happens that most of the people on my 20 person roatating feed I am not very close with. Yes, I can have a strange cyber relationship with them without their knowledge (see: Facebook stalking) or vice versa, but that's not particularly helpful in my life or theirs in developing meaningful relationships. The people I am close with all have my number and I don't need a Facebook account to reach them. If something important is happening, I can call them up and share with them. In my experience, true closeness, intimacy and friendship can not be built over Facebook. Letting Facebook go will allow me more time for meaningful friendships.
4. Facebook is not helping my business.
I've been continuously justifying my presence on Facebook for the purposes of business. However, I am not able to access my business related pages without first going through my personal page which is a humongous distraction from my productivity. There are other social networks that allow me to directly engage with my industry peers and 'fans' for the purposes of business (see: twitter, tumblr, instagram, linkedin). Though Facebook may be a business asset to other people who work in social media, for me, it is merely a distraction from actually getting important things done. It's time for me to stop pretending Facebook is useful and call a spade a spade. Facebook, you are a productivity killer and a time sink! Which brings me to my final reason...
5. Valuing My Time.
Time is one of our most valuable resources. Once it's gone, we can't get it back. M Scott Peck said it best, "Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it." Facebook has been around for nearly 10 years at this point and I shudder to think the amount of hours of my life I have wasted away looking at curated photos of other peoples memories instead of putting that time into creating my own. What a travesty! Ultimately letting go of Facebook is a step toward me placing more value in myself and my time and instead using it for more productive and life fulfilling endeavors. How exciting!