As you might have seen from my 2018 vision and goals post, I’ve decided to quit Facebook.
There are lots of reasons, and I’ll share a bunch of them here, but let’s start with a little backstory.
I joined Facebook and used it throughout my graduate school days. When I went on the job market — and couldn’t really control what was showing up on my “wall” (remember those?) — I decided to leave the platform and I never looked back.
Until five years later… when I was writing a book on what it means to be a professional online.
So after five years away, I rejoined Facebook in late 2016. At the time I rejoined, I did so because I wanted to make sure that I was experiencing all of the major social media platforms so that I could talk about them both from research and from experience.
Now that I’ve engaged in Facebook for over a year, I’m ready to call it quits.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- It’s not my jam for social interaction. While some people really enjoy the social aspects of Facebook (connecting with family members, staying in touch with old friends), I prefer to engage with family and friends in other ways.
- Facebook necessitates too much interaction. As an introvert, I don’t want to constantly be interacting with other people. Also, as someone who struggles with emotional intelligence, I find too much engagement on social media platforms to be exhausting. Facebook tries really hard to get me to engage on a daily basis — even multiple times per day — and that’s just too much for me.
- Facebook feels predatory as a company. It makes me uncomfortable that Facebook owns all the content (including pictures) that I post and that Facebook decides what everyone gets to see. (For some reason I’m less concerned about this on Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook, but it’s a problem over on that platform as well.)
- The privacy settings on Facebook are too much for me to keep up with. When I first started using the platform, I just decided to share everything with everyone so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the layers of privacy settings — and the fact that they seem to keep changing. In an ideal world, I would engage the privacy settings in a meaningful way, but I just don’t have the time or energy to figure them out.
- Facebook is a pain for small business owners. The constantly changing algorithms on Facebook make it almost impossible to promote elements of my business that might be of interest to those following or friending me on the platform without “boosting” posts through payment. I’m not willing to do that.
- Facebook brings out the judgemental side of me. When I’m scrolling through the posts in my feed, I find myself critical of how much people overshare, why people ask the questions they do, the fake news that shows up all over my feed, annoying memes that run rampant — in many cases, I’ve found that Facebook brings out the worst sides of me.
- Facebook doesn’t encourage my creativity. I get that creativity might not be the point of Facebook, but the other platforms I’m on at least scratch my creative itch just a little. I have to play around with the character count on Twitter, for example. And I’ve been having fun experimenting with Instagram stories as a way to share about process. Facebook just doesn’t bring out the creative side of me.
- I don’t like engaging on Facebook. This is the primary reason that I’m leaving the platform. On my other platforms of choice (Twitter and Instagram), I look forward to the engagement there and I feel generally positive about my interactions. This is not the case at all with Facebook. I feel generally negative any time I log-in or check the app.
I understand that there are others who engage in Facebook and seem to truly enjoy it and benefit from the platform. If that’s you, I’m thrilled that you have found a space that works for what you need.
I’ve just found Facebook is not a platform that works for me.
Rather than let my profile go dormant, I’m deciding to delete it. Before I do, I’ll be sharing all the other ways that people can engage with me online such as the following:
Reengaging with Facebook was an interesting experiment, but I’m happy (and a bit relieved) to have that experiment come to an end.
To think on:
- When was the last time you revisited whether you are enjoying and gaining from the social media platforms you participate in?
- For Facebook users, what draws you to the platform?
- For non-Facebook users, what has kept you from joining?