So Long, Facebook.

This is my first post on WordPress, so I’ll start it right off by saying what no one else will.

Facebook sucks.

Many of you may be wondering why quit, after the poking and prodding you got from me to join in the first place. I was a daily Facebook watcher, taking in and putting out to friends and family, tagging, sharing, being an active part of the digital community. Heck — some of you I never would have hoped re-connect with if not for the Facebook giant.

It was the accidental foray into the once-you-click-you-can’t-go-back Timeline format that pushed me off the edge. I don’t recall having been warned that this would be a permanent change, but apparently that is the case. So to the programmers who keep changing and tweaking every few months so that more and more of my data can be mined to be sold, you can keep your changes. I quit.

What really gets me is the new inability to delete content — now, only ‘archive’ or ‘hide’ options are given. If Facebook wasn’t just a little creepy to begin with, this shouts from the rooftops, ‘Your content doesn’t belong to you. It now belongs to us.’

If you’re not paying for it, you are the product being sold.

As I sat in my easy chair unfriending all the connections I’d made, deleting photos, removing what I could of past posts, generally whittling my profile down to a handful of personal (already public) information about me, it felt really, really good. I was giving the middle finger right in its face. All or nothing.

No one can complain about unfriending when even Mom and Dad gets the ax.

‘I’m taking my life back,’ I told Scott, as he entered the dimly lit office at 2 AM, my stare fixed firmly on the computer screen. He kissed me on the forehead, smiled and shuffled back to bed. He never really understood the whole Facebook rage anyway; it was all my thing, an instinctive need to be connected to people albeit digitally. For the next 2 hours, I dutifully removed what I could of three years on Facebook, a time-and-brain-sucking beast. I checked and rechecked. All gone.

Done. And I went back to bed.

Next, a new doppelganger would emerge to replace ‘me’: DirtNKids Blog. An email notifying friends and family why they got axed would follow.

Why keep my profile active after all that trouble? Because deactivating takes only seconds. That’s what they want you to do (deactivate), because it keeps all your content intact (to them) while unavailable (to you, others). But deactivating accomplishes nothing if the escape hatch is what you want; as soon as you log back in, you’re automatically ‘active’ once again, whether you know it or not.

Once on Facebook, always on Facebook.  

I know all that content is not really gone. I’m a realist. Three years of my life all sits there in some database on some super-computer owned by some stranger, tidbits of myself that I willingly gave up.

From here forward, I’ll be doing things differently. A slightly more anonymous ‘blogging’ replaces posting, and I may find myself with a bit more time to get my nails dirty.

20 thoughts on “So Long, Facebook.

  1. This way I got to read your first post, Shannon. Thanks for your perspective. I have been considering whether or not to re-create an account. I had one for a couple of weeks, but erased it without ever having entered any data.

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  2. I laughed when I saw this. I was a Facebook member for exactly six weeks, several years ago. I never friended anyone, liked anything, or posted anything. After six weeks of watching, I quit. My goodness, didn’t FB beg me to come back! I’ve never felt so wanted in my life. Since then, when I listen to people gripe and moan about the intrusiveness, the lack of privacy, the creepiness of it all, I just say — if you’re getting it for free, you’re the product. It’s true – and no one can convince me that my life won’t be complete until I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., ad nauseum. Of course each has some value, but they’re also a time sink, along with everything else.

    I do find Twitter a great resource, and I follow places like the National Weather Service, specific mets, prairie and wildflower groups, and so on. But that’s enough — for me, anyway.

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    1. Ha! Six weeks? Love that story! I like to keep all my digital eggs in several different baskets (different companies for email, photo storage, writing/sharing, videos) ’cause I just don’t completely trust the whole stinkin’ thing. If Google and Facebook ever join ranks, that’ll be something indeed.

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  3. Hilarious. I had the same reaction when I opened this post. 2012??? What the….🤔I didn’t realize you had been blogging that long. I started in 2013 about the time I “deactivated” my FB. Drama was the reason I got off for 3 years. Then last Spring I started a totally new page because of school. Fellow students whining about my not being there. So I relented. Then I started getting friend request from family etc…one of the biggest reasons I got off the first time lol. Nope! Deleted everyone of them. It is definitely a time sucker. I keep it and messenger off my phone and somehow people still figure out how to reach me. They are the ones who make my REAL friends list! 😙

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    1. Oh wow! Delightful to read your account, Courtney. I have to say, this mystery posting of my first as DirtNKids has stoked the coals on the old blog stats. I’m really glad that it happened. I completely agree about the ‘real friends’ list. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Funny how this re-posted to email! I also got a copy in my inbox. Strange.

      I can share today — nearly 6 years later — that my presence on FB still remains. Keeping active has helped at least three people find me, but don’t miss using it at all. WordPress is now my digital home-away-from-home. Cheers, Francis, and thank you for your contributions here!

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  4. Nice! I said my goodbyes to FB back in 2009 and I have not once regretted it. I certainly got a lot of grief from my friends when I did though. Most thought I’d lost my mind. Many others thought I had simply de-friended them. Some even tried to convince me to return. So let me just say to you, for the record, “Congratulations! Good move!”

    Facebook is an addiction. But then, so are smart phones and all the rest of it. We live in a strange heads-down world now where we commune electronically while ignoring life around us. There’s no turning back though — this is our New World Order. In the meantime, enjoy the great outdoors, your family, and all the other things FB-junkies are missing!

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    1. It’s been a month and really the only thing I miss about Facebook is seeing friends’ photo posts. I need to get to work on posting a “picture album” here so I can get some practice.

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  5. Word for the paranoid: there is no option to delete Facebook email. The “Archived” button sent me to mail messages from the days of yore…wow. Every message that I’ve ever sent or ever has been sent to me is still there. Even those I was sure I deleted (not archived) more than a year ago.

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  6. I have been wanting to do this very thing for months. So I got your back on this! Down with social media! Screw Facebook and all of it’s big-brother-friendly-friend-time-suckage. Okay, now I think I need to go post this in my status update …

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    1. Hop on my wagon which is quickly reaching elbow-room-only, I’m discovering. I often wonder what on earth FB’s consumers (i.e. the people who pay for it, the advertisers) would do if they had several hundred million users who were active member non-users like me. Hm.

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  7. I’m with Scott on that ‘tude. And your “time-and-brain sucking beast” comment is spot on. Do we really need to know that our second cousin’s third erroneous child is sucking salted pistachios and farting the theme to “Destitute Housewhores” in his sleep? If so, I’m more aligned with the Cookie Monster’s view of the purpose of the internet.

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    1. Is his (and your) view of the Internet the mindless mastication of all things cookies, or is it something else entirely? And I had no idea he could that (the flatulent theme song, that is). Somebody needs to post about that. That’s very useful information.

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